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Wed Oct 10, 2012, 08:35 AM

Teaching jobs come back after four years of layoffs

After four years of layoffs, teaching jobs are finally coming back. Public school hiring rose this summer to its highest level in six years. Local school districts added 79,000 education jobs this July through September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the strongest summer hiring since 2006.

But even with the small hiring spurt, it's still not nearly enough to keep up with the growing number of students in American classrooms. "The data suggest that at least we're not shedding a lot of teacher jobs any more. That's a really nice first step, but there's still so much to make up," said Heidi Shierholz, economist with the Economic Policy Institute.

Considering public schools were slashing jobs in the four years leading up to July, the recent gains are hardly enough to bridge the gap. Over that time period, enrollment in public schools was projected to grow by about 377,000 students, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. To keep up, schools would have had to hire about 62,000 workers, Shierholz estimates. Instead, they laid off about 315,000.


"You're beginning to see a recovery in state and local hiring because tax revenues have been positive," said Brett Ryan, an economist with Deutsche Bank. "This is another overall sign that the economy continues to recover."


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