Teacher labor markets and teacher labor market research
The research on teacher labor markets is quite large and expanding; yet, as in most areas of education research, our knowledge is full of holes and only gets us a little ways towards identifying productive policy directions. As such, there is plenty of room for new research – describing labor market dynamics, developing and substantiating theories about the mechanisms driving the trends and relationships observed, developing instruments for measurement, and evaluating programs. This paper begins by providing an overview of what we know about teacher labor markets in the United States. It is not an exhaustive review of the literature, but rather a summary of the state of our knowledge with illustrative cites to findings in the literature. The final section identifies possible directions for new research. In doing so, it distinguishes supply-side and demand-side factors during four stages of a teacher’s career – pre-teaching, early-teaching, middle-teaching, and late-teaching.