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Outlines the prevailing trends in the vocational education teacher labor marker using data from the national-level Schools and Staffing Survey and from the states of New York and Texas. The report finds that the vocational teaching force has declined since the early 1980s, both in absolute size and relative to the total teaching force. There was also a decline in the average number of vocational courses taken by public school students in the same time period. The average age of vocational education teachers increased and the proportion of new entrants to vocational teaching declined during 1988-1994. It is unclear, however, whether these empirical facts are a result of a decrease in demand for vocational education, a decrease in the supply of teachers, or a combination of the two. Existing data do not capture the information needed to determine whether shortages exist in teacher labor markets. Without evidence pertaining to the movements of vocational education teachers in and out of teacher labor markets and their alternate sources of employment, it is not possible to understand why these teachers are present in or absent from the teaching force.

Originally published in: National Center for Research in Vocational Education, MDS-1302, January 2000.

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