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According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment for physicists should grow faster than the average through 2018. Although federal funding has gone mostly to the life sciences this past decade, the America COMPETES Act, passed by Congress in 2007, aims to change the focus to physical sciences. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the goal of the act is to double funding for the physical sciences through the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy's Office of Science by the year 2016, and recent budgets for these agencies have seen large increases. Ph.D. physicists and astronomers can expect more employment opportunities in basic research if these budget increases continue.
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