Recent graduates available to fill Oregon teaching jobs are having trouble finding work

A new survey from The Oregonian found that about 2,400 prospective teachers who graduated from colleges in Oregon this year have yet to find work in the state. Overall, fewer than 600 new teacher graduates were hired in Oregon this fall, which is only one-fourth of the total number of graduates.

Many of the remaining 1,800 teaching graduates have turned to substitute teaching or teaching abroad as possible options. Others are holding out hope as they continue to wait for open teaching positions in Oregon.

During August, Oregon saw its unemployment rate increase from 11.8 percent to 12.2 percent as the state continued to lose jobs in most industries. Although the education industry has managed to increase jobs when compared to last year, it has still been losing jobs on a month-to-month basis.

The state's education and health services industry employed 226,500 workers during August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number is down from 227,300 workers during, but a 2.3 percent increase from last year.

One problem could be Oregon's struggle to fund higher education. From 2002 to 2006, the state cut its higher education budget and now ranks 46th in the country in state spending per student.

However, if recent teaching graduates are having trouble finding work in Oregon, it's not for lack of available institutions. As of 2005, there were 199 public school districts throughout the state served by 20 education service districts. There were 559,215 students enrolled in public primary and secondary schools that same year.

During 2007, the five largest school districts in Oregon were: Portland Public Schools with 46,262 students; Salem-Keizer School District with 40,106 students; Beaverton School District with 37,821 students; Hillsboro School District with 20,401 students and Eugene School District with 18,025 students.

When it comes to public college, the Oregon University System supports seven public universities and one affiliate in the state. There are three regional universities in Oregon, including Western Oregon University, Southern Oregon University and Eastern Oregon University.

Portland State University is the largest in Oregon, which also is home to the Oregon Institute of Technology and the Oregon Health & Science University. The state also supports 17 community colleges.

In addition, Oregon is home to several private colleges, including:
The University of Portland
Marylhurst University
Reed College
Concordia University
Lewis & Clark College
Multnomah Bible College
Portland Bible College
Warner Pacific College
Cascade College
The National College of Natural Medicine
Western Seminary
Pacific University

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