ERIC Number: EJ719051
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May
Reference Count: 42
The Teacher Labour Market in the US: Challenges and Reforms
Belfield, Clive R.
Educational Review, v57 n2 p175-191 May 2005
This article describes the teaching profession and teacher labour market in the US. Over the period since 1966, the profession has become 80% female, highly credentialled, considerably more senior, and increasingly unionized. In contrast, formal working conditions have changed relatively little, although class sizes are now approximately 30% smaller. Real earnings growth in teaching has been flat, although this is not atypical of wage trends across the US labour market. The main distinction between teaching and other professions is the flexibility in setting of pay and conditions. Teachers are paid on a uniform pay schedule, with little variation in terms of performance, and with strong collective bargaining. Reforms to this labour market are direct (liberalization of pay-setting and improvement in working conditions) and indirect (organizational changes to allow new teachers to enter the profession). The latter appear more promising. Given the seniority of the teaching profession there is likely to be limited change within the next decade, but considerable modernization may occur with a new cohort of teachers.
Descriptors: Teaching (Occupation), Collective Bargaining, Labor Market, Teaching Conditions, Teacher Salaries, Public Schools, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Selection, Unions, Teacher Persistence
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States