Teacher attrition in relation to comparable professions: Evidence from a repeated cross-sectional design

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Is the national rate of teacher attrition in the U.S. higher than expected? In this paper I extend prior research on teacher attrition by conducting a repeated cross-sectional analysis of teacher attrition in relation to arguably similar vocational professions, including nursing, social work, and accounting. I find that the national rate of teacher attrition has remained strikingly stable over time at around 8 percent and exhibits less variation than comparable professions. Teachers and nurses share similar rates of attrition. A decline in the labor force leaver rate among older teachers approaching retirement explains a small decrease in the overall attrition rate between 2001 and 2018.