I’m curious about how jobs are changing for the roughly 5.5 million teachers in the US. Teaching doesn’t pay as well as jobs that require similar education, but teaching traditionally includes a summer break and retirement and healthcare benefits. This post looks at trends since 1997 in how teachers use their school summer break and shows that they are becoming more likely to work during the break.
School summer breaks show up in data on the teaching share of total hours worked. In the school year, teaching comprises 3-3.5 percent of total work hours, compared to around one percent in the summer months.
Panel data show that the share of teachers working a different job in the summer is pretty stable, but that teachers are more likely to be at work as teachers over the summer months (June, July, and August) than they were in the past.
Earlier start to school year
The individual monthly data show an earlier start to the school year in many places (August rather than September) shortening the summer break for teachers. In August 2019, teaching comprised about 2.5 percent of total work hours, compared to 1.2 percent in August 1997.