The following excerpt is from an article in the AWP Job Listing online. You have to be a member to read the article, so I'm not sure if the link will work for everyone.
The article is "Economic Crisis Affects Academic Job Market" by Emily Lu (November 2008).
"The number of academic jobs announced in the AWP Job List declined 54% from 586 in 2006-07 to 316 in 2007-08. Tenure-track job ads declined by about 57% in 2007-08 from 2006-07, although 68 ads listed in 2007-08 did not specify whether they were tenure-track appointments. In 2006-07, 327 announcements were tagged as non-tenure track, compared to 241 in 2007-08. The total number of job ads in the AWP Job List decreased by 56% in 2007-08. (See Tables 1 and 2.)
In addition to the erosion of tenure-stream jobs, English faculty face additional challenges. Faculty salaries in English still lag behind other fields. Data compiled by the CHE places English language and literature faculty salaries are at the bottom of the pay scale at 4-year institutions. The average English instructor’s salary is $39,834 compared with the $55,364 average salary of Engineering instructors or the $42,420 average salary of instructors in Communications, Journalism, and related studies. The economic disparity continues at all levels of employment. Full-time Assistant Professors in English earn $6,743 less on average than Assistant Professors in Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies. At the top levels of employment, English Professors make $4,671 less than Philosophy and Religious Studies Professors.11 (See Table 4.)"
Lu goes on to talk about the disturbing trend of tenure-track jobs being lost through attrition as the older generation retires, and she states that one tenured professor can be replaced with eight adjuncts.