Tag Archives: teacher employment

Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Teacher employment in the Great Recession

Recent correspondence with Arthur McKee at the National Council on Teacher Quality brought up an interesting question: What happened to teacher unemployment in the Great Recession? I don’t think anyone has a for-sure answer, but I’ve cobbled together a bit … Continue reading

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9 Responses to Teacher employment in the Great Recession

  1. Jesse says:

    I think respondents are instructed to give the occupation of their last job if they are unemployed or out of the labor force. So in principle this should identify teachers who have been laid off, but it won’t capture those who just graduated from schools and never got jobs in the first place, which I think accounts for a very large part of teacher unemployment in the last few years. (Most other occupations aren’t tied quite so closely to the degree you earn.)

    A couple of other issues in interpreting this:
    – My guess is the high rate of out-of-the-labor-force reflects teachers who don’t work or look for work over the summer. I assume the underlying data here is the CPS; if so, it should be possible to exclude summer months.
    – If a teacher takes a summer job, then is not called back for the fall, she should report her occupation thereafter as whatever she did over the summer rather than as a teacher (since it refers to the previous job, not the self identity). I don’t know if that is fixable.
    – What is going on with the year 2000? Did teacher unemployment really shoot up in 2001 and stay very high thereafter? It seems unlikely — in 2005, people were talking about looming teacher shortages.

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