Public Education Sees Booming Employment

By: - March 15, 2000 12:00 am

In the 1990s, public education created 1.8 million new jobs, raising the total number of people employed in this sector to 9.4 million, a study by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government shows. The increase exceeded expansion of private sector jobs during the same period and made public education a major growth industry.

Nevada led states with with a 72 percent increase in education jobs. In fact, most of the expansion occurred in the South and West.

West Virginia brought up the rear with a decline in education jobs of 1.1 percent.

The growth in public education jobs, which increased by 24 percent during the 10-year period from 1988 to 1998, reflected an exploding student population. During the same period, private sector employment grew by 21 percent, according to the study by Samuel M. Ehrenhalt, former regional commissioner for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report warns that public schools face an impending labor shortage because the number of education workers nearing retirement age exceeds the pool of potential replacements in the 25-44 age range. This shrinking pool will “mean greater competition for talent, and schools need to prepare for this,” said Ehrenhalt.

The full study can be obtained by contacting the Rockefeller Institute at

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