Budget Cuts in the USA: Experienced and Expected Changes in Academic Institutions

Budget Cuts in the USA: Experienced and Expected Changes in Academic Institutions


Last year, we conducted a global survey of nearly 800 academics, asking questions about budget cuts at their respective institutions for fiscal year 2013, and their expectations for 2014. We wanted to get a sense of the climate around the world in terms of who is still being affected by the economic downturn, and to what extent, in order to better grasp the daily reality for both employers and job seekers.

In this post, we’re exploring responses from researchers and others working in the United States. Of those who took part in the survey, 67% said they work in universities, 8% in think tanks, 8% in NGOs, 8% in private companies or consultancies, 4% in international organizations, 4% in banks and 2% in the government. This distribution was amongst the most diverse of any country represented.

While it is clear that the U.S. is still feeling the effects of the global recession, the fact that anticipated budget cuts were nearly 50% lower across the board for 2014 is a very promising sign. Moreover, while only 4% of respondents said their general budgets were increased in 2013, 12% reported expected increases for fiscal year 2014. These responses underscore a more positive outlook for the U.S. market moving forward.

The largest drop in expected budget cuts was reported for marketing budgets. This follows the global trend, though the disparity between reported cuts in 2013 and expected cuts for 2014 is larger than in most countries. As with the outlook for general budgets, this is certainly good news for marketing departments across the U.S.