You know the old joke about how a recession doesn't turn into a depression until an economist loses his job? Economists are losing their jobs. Run for the hills!

The Wall Street Journal reports that the job market for practitioners of the dismal science is dreadful. Columbia University isn't hiring anyone this year. Three other colleges have stopped looking for economics professors. Harvard's hiring one professor, rather than two or three.

And academia is one of the few job options left, with investment banks having disappeared altogether. Government agencies are slow to increase their budgets, and competition for those jobs have increased. It's a simple matter of supply and demand, as any economist would tell you.