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To conclude, the ‘supply’ side of the archaeology labour market currently is in a particularly bad shape: in UK and German language archaeology in all sectors except field archaeology, nearly 80% fewer jobs are currently being advertised than were advertised at the height of the economic boom in 2007. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the ‘supply’ of jobs held up reasonably well until quite a bit into the recession – up to 2008 in Germany and Austria and even 2009 in the UK. But then, the supply of ‘new’ jobs collapsed dramatically.

The only slight relief that can perhaps be gathered from our data is that projections based on the data collected until September 2012 seem to indicate that the ‘supply’ side of the archaeology labour market seems to start to recover: by mid September 2012, nearly as many archaeology jobs in the UK had been advertised as in all of 2011; and for German language archaeology, the number of adverts had already surpassed that for the whole previous year by one. Thus, the worst may be behind us, and we might be seeing the first signs of improvement.

However, judging from the likely size of the increase this year, getting back to the numbers of new jobs advertised back in 2007 will take a long time. Thus if you, at this time, ain’t got no job in archaeology but are looking for one, your prospects are anything but rosy. That said, despite the situation being bad, it is also noteworthy that there are still ‘new’ jobs being offered in archaeology. And though the competition may be much tougher than it was some five years ago, that means that it is still possible to gain new employment in archaeology. The situation in archaeology in this regard – though perhaps somewhat worse than in some other fields – is not much different from all other sectors of the labour market, where getting a job has also become much more difficult than five years ago. So if today, you do not have a job in archaeology but want one, it is still absolutely worth trying.

And just to remind you: we have a free online  jobs resource at There may be an opening for you that is currently being advertised, and the only way one can be certain that one will not get a job in archaeology is if one does not even try to get one.


Fig. 7: Monthly breakdown of the supply of new archaeology job adverts for 2007-15/9/2012.