More than 80 percent of high-school seniors are employed during the school year or the following summer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This year they may be competing with their teachers for those jobs.
State budget crises and the dwindling economy have contributed to a sharp decline in employment and wages for teachers. The increasing number of charter schools that receive local, state and federal dollars has also added greater instability within the profession.
“Teachers have continually battled with budget cuts, and this affects a more specialized area of education: summer school teachers. As schools deal with lack of funding, summer teachers are being told they won’t be needed this year,” says Daniel Greenberg, CMO of SimplyHired.com, a search engine that filters job postings and tracks employment trends. The site reported a 46 percent drop in summer teaching job postings from 2009 to 2011.
Charles Purdy, editor of career site Monster.com, agrees that more teachers are looking for part-time work. But he does see light at end of the tunnel and opportunity for teachers to find contract work to supplement income: “Looking at the past year’s data, we’ve seen increases in temporary and contract hiring, and we’ve seen it in industries we haven’t seen it in before,” he explains. “If you feel like your industry doesn’t have temporary work, maybe think again, because that’s one area that has shown strength. As the economy improves, that’s typically the first wave of new hires.”