The AIP has just released the result of a new statistics that polled Physics Ph.Ds on the state of their career one year after they received their degrees. The result comes from degree recipients from the class of 2007 and 2008, so the poll was conducted right in the height of the economic crash.
Interestingly enough, the percentage of Ph.Ds in postdoctoral position continues to decline, while those getting potentially permanent position increased. What is also interesting is that, no matter what the unemployment situation is in the US, the unemployment rate of physics Ph.D remained relatively unchanged throughout the years.
Foreign citizens continue to go into the postdoctoral position more than US citizens. Understandably, they do not have a higher percentage that are in a potentially permanent job position than US citizens 1 year after their degrees.
Would be interesting to compare this with the initial employment right after graduation.