Teacher Hiring Poised to Rise After Years in the Doldrums

Contributing Writer
Teacher hiring on the rise

New teacher hires are expected to rise above the levels they were at before the Great Recession for the first time since 2008, federal data show.

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For the first time since 2008, new teacher hires are expected to rise above the levels they were at before the Great Recession, federal data show.

The National Center for Education Statistics projects that around 364,000 new public and private school teachers, combined, will be hired in 2017 alone. Roughly 288,000 of those teachers are expected to work in public schools.

Additionally, teacher hiring across public and private schools is poised to continue to surge in the years after 2017, according to NCES estimates.

The wave of new educators entering classrooms has potentially big implications for providers of professional development and training. And it could have indirect consequences for companies providing curriculum and other products, who will be providing materials for teachers who are likely to be relatively new to the profession.

The yearly intake of new teachers is projected to rise 17 percent cumulatively between now and 2024

There’s been a lot of debate in the popular press recently about teacher hiring, and whether there’s the potential for shortages of educators in the K-12 market, if the pace of entrants doesn’t keep up with the number of those leaving. The NCES data, at least, offers insights on the rate at which new educators are expected to be joining the field.

The yearly intake of new teachers—defined as individuals who did not teach the previous year—is projected to increase 17 percent, cumulatively, between 2012 and 2024. For public school teachers, alone, the projected rise is 19 percent.

In fact, NCES predicts that one in ten working educators in 2017–and in each of the next seven years–will be a new hire. (An individual who moved from one public school to another would not be considered a new hire; however, a teacher who moves from a private school to a public school, or vice versa, was considered a new hire by the report.)

This represents a rapidly expanding market of first-, second- and third-year teachers for makers of professional development and induction programs for new educators.

Teacher hiring has not kept up with student population trends in recent years, data suggest. Despite increasing student enrollment, the number of teachers fell in the years following the recession and has grown by less than 0.1% since 2012, according to data compiled by NCES.

The data, found in Projections of Education Statistics to 2024, estimates that beginning in 2017, the total number of people employed as primary and secondary teachers will increase by at least 1 percentage point each year, netting an 8 percent increase by 2024. By the numbers, that means the teacher population is expected to swell by 350,000 people.

New teacher hiring in the nation’s private schools is also expected to increase over the next decade, federal data indicate.

On the one hand, the total number of teachers employed by the nation’s private schools is predicted to remain relatively static, partly because private school enrollment is expected to shrink by about 4 percent between 2012 and 2024.

Nevertheless, because private schools have been coping with aging workforce and low hiring numbers over the past decade, they will need to make up ground in hiring over the next few years. Private schools are expected to increase new teacher hiring by about 10 percent over the same period, according to federal estimates.


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