MBA Admissions and the Economy

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on November 6, 2008

I came across this really interesting chart on the GMAC web site today that compares GMAT exams taken with annual net change in U.S. employment. With all the world wondering where the market will bottom out and things will start turning around, this table may offer an answer.

Previous bottoms in terms of employment—1982, 1991, and 2001—were all accompanied by peaks in GMAT testing volume. When volume fell off, jobs began coming back. With the exception of the 2001 downturn, when the GMAT testing peak followed the return of job growth by about a year, the timing was eerily precise. Check it out:


There's some reason for hope here, too. In terms of GMAT volume, we are almost exactly where we were in 1991 and 2001 when the economy started to turn around, which suggests we're at or near the market bottom. On the other hand, in terms of job losses, we're not even close to where we were in 1982 and 2001, suggesting that we may still have a way to go.

I don't know about everybody else, but for the sake of the economy I'm hoping GMAT test volume takes a sudden and precipitous turn downward. And soon.

Reader Comments

harry summers

November 7, 2008 8:58 PM

This is projected to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Do you have data from the 1930s range? Likely we are going to see a precipitous fall in jobs and unprecedented rises in GMAT tests exceeding the 1982/2001 benchmark.

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