A report on the jobs advertised in the MLA Job List for the 2020–21 and 2021–22 academic years is now available on the MLA website. The decline in the number of jobs advertised in 2020–21 was pronounced, while 2021–22 showed a welcome rebound to prepandemic levels. Together the significant decline and robust recovery shed light on hiring practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2020–21, the number of English positions dropped to 510 from 728 in 2019–20, a decline of 29.9%, the steepest recorded in the history of the Job List since 1975. The number of positions in languages dropped to 496 in 2020–21 from 683 in 2019–20, a 27.4% decline, the steepest since the 27.0% decline in 2008–09, during the economic downturn.
In 2021–22, the number of positions witnessed a major recovery. There were 921 positions in English and 837 positions in languages. These increases—80.6% and 68.8%, respectively—are unprecedented, and the number of positions surpassed numbers in the period immediately before the pandemic. The 2021–22 numbers of positions are the highest since 2015–16. Read the full report for more information, including figures charting trends in the data since 1975–76 and breakdowns by tenure status, rank, and field.