2023 was a good year for education jobs
We just finished the best 3-year run since the 1970s
Earlier this week I published an education jobs update over at The 74. I noted that:
Employment in education was up;
Turnover rates appear to be falling;
Teacher stress and anxiety is also coming down; and
Teacher salaries outpaced inflation after a few years of lagging behind.
I’ll have more to say about these trends in future posts, but for now I want to share one graph that helps illustrate the broader trends. It uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). Unfortunately the data lump all public education together, including K-12 and higher ed, but K-12 represents about 3/4ths of the total.
There are two main trends I want you to note about the graph below. One is that employee separations, hires, and job opening rates were all down in 2023 compared to the highs of 2022. There was more stability and less job churn.
The second thing to note is harder to see in this particular graph, but the number of new hires has outpaced the number of employee separations for each of the past three years. The public education workforce is growing.
In fact, K-12 education alone added about 160,000 jobs last year. Coming off the depths of 2020, when employment fell 8%, we have now seen the largest three-year gains since the 1970s.
Looking ahead, I expect 2024 will be another good year in the education employment world. I am not as optimistic about 2025 or 2026, but for the moment we’re in a period of relative calm compared to the bust and then boom cycle we went through during the depths of the pandemic.
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