Report: Without Urgent Action, America’s Educator Shortage Will Double By 2025
TROY, Mich. (October 10, 2022) – Without swift and substantive interventions to improve working conditions and attract qualified individuals to the profession, the educator talent gap in the U.S. could double by 2025, according to a report released today by Kelly Education, America’s largest education staffing provider.
The 2022 Education Workforce Insights Report, the first of its kind from Kelly Education — a specialty business of global staffing firm Kelly – explores the myriad factors driving the national educator shortage, which encompasses growing vacancies for teachers and other critical school staff such as paraprofessionals, counselors, and mental health professionals. The report projects that—if current conditions are left unchecked and unchanged—the number of education-related job openings will swell to 854,000, while the average number of education-related hires will grow to just 336,000. That’s a talent gap of 518,000 educators—or one missing teacher or staff member for every 100 school-aged children.
“America’s education system is at a turning point. How we choose to respond will impact the success of students, their families, our communities, and our economy at large. Our report findings should serve as a major wakeup call for anyone who cares about our children’s — and our country’s — future,” said Nicola Soares, president of Kelly Education. “The good news is, there is broad consensus around solutions that can improve the profession. Addressing the educator shortage is everyone’s responsibility, and this report offers a roadmap for popular measures that states and districts can take to ensure every child has the caring educators and resources they need for a bright future.”
The report also includes the findings of a national survey of more than 2,000 business leaders across the country on their concerns about the educator shortage and support for solutions that can strengthen the talent pipeline and restore respect for the profession. The survey oversampled business leaders in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Florida — states with high demand for substitute teaching talent.
Key findings from the report include:
- Without urgent and widespread intervention, the educator shortage will double by 2025. While national, real-time data of educator vacancies does not yet exist, the Kelly Education report includes an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) to forecast how pronounced the educator talent gap will be, unless widespread and intentional policy and practice change is made. With two complete years of pandemic-era labor market data available, the Kelly Education report factors in the adverse impacts of the global health crisis on teacher and school staff attraction and retention. If the current trend of job openings versus hires in public education and education services continues, the educator talent gap will double from 2021 to 2025.
- America’s business leaders are highly concerned about the educator shortage and its impacts on their current and future workforce. Almost all (96%) business leaders surveyed expressed concern about the projected educator shortage, with 75% saying they are moderately or extremely concerned about it. Additionally, more than 9 in 10 (91%) business leaders stated the educator shortage has already or will lead to a generation of unprepared workers within five years or sooner.
- Business leaders are calling for urgent action to address the educator shortage and the myriad factors influencing the talent gap. An overwhelming 86% of business leaders believe policymakers should act now to make the education profession more accessible, rewarding, and sustainable. Nearly half (48%) support increasing educator pay and benefits, and many are in favor of efforts to improve school culture and working conditions — including developing teacher residency programs and mentoring initiatives with veteran educators (47%), improving in-school mental and behavioral health services (43%), and creating a national tuition subsidy for prospective educators pursuing credentials in education (40%).
- Business leaders want to be part of the solution to tackle the teacher and school staff shortage. More than three in four (78%) survey respondents said companies should contribute more towards comprehensive educator preparation. They also believe businesses can help offset wage issues by offering year-round discounts to educators (85% in favor), supporting affordable housing subsidies (81% in favor), and funding affordable housing to essential, public-sector employees such as educators (76% in favor).
To read the full report and additional insights, visit educationworkforceinsights.com.