Pandemic-Era School Staff Shortages: Evidence from Unfilled Position Data in Illinois

Research output: Working paper


Concerns about school staff shortages are longstanding and have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, data on shortages is limited, dated, and rare for non-teaching staff. I use data on unfilled certificated positions in Illinois public school districts each fall from 2017 through 2022 to paint a detailed picture of shortages across roles, between schools, and over time. Teacher and administrator shortage rates are low on average, but shortages of other staff – mostly paraprofessionals – are more severe pre- and post-pandemic. Pandemic-era growth in unfilled positions appears to be driven more by hiring than by attrition. Shortages vary between schools within districts and across urbanicity, grade level, and student characteristics, often in ways that likely exacerbate inequities.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StateIn preparation - Jul 2 2023


  • school staff shortages
  • teacher shortages
  • Illinois
  • teacher labor markets
  • school staffing


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