As Figuer 1 shows, the median salary for all (degree level) chemists took some serious hits during the recent recession:
Perhaps more importantly, by 2012 the median salary for Chemists was not only $1,300 less than 2008 but factoring in the effects of inflation the median salary for chemists was a full $7,900 less than in 2008.
Figure 2 breaks it down by degree level:
Chemists with bachelors degrees have a median salary of $73,850 which represents a loss of $4,125 (-5.3%) in buying power since 2008. Chemists with master's degrees show a median salary of $82,000 are $6,068 below their spending power in 2008 and finally chemists with PhD show a median salary of $100,600 which is down from the $108,475 needed to regain 2008's buying power.
All in all this is not encouraging.