China, amid widespread economic recession crisis, is even facing the problem of oversupply of ‘elementary and middle school teachers’

By 2035, 150 million elementary school teachers and 37 middle school teachers will be reduced to ‘surplus’
Chinese authorities try to ‘control the supply and demand of teachers’ by not allowing the establishment of new departments of education
The economic situation, with growing concerns about recession, is accelerating the decline in the school-age population

It is predicted that in about 10 years, 187 million elementary and middle school teachers in China will be at risk of losing their jobs due to oversupply. This is due to the rapid decline in the number of newborns and the steep decline in the school-age population. With China’s total fertility rate hitting an all-time low in 2022, there are even recent rumors of a Chinese economic crisis, raising concerns that low growth due to rapid population decline will continue.

In 10 years, 187 million elementary and middle school teachers in China may lose their jobs

According to a report by local media, including China’s First Finance, on the 4th, citing data from Associate Professor Cao Jinzhong of the Institute of Higher Education, Faculty of Education, Beijing Normal University, by 2035, there will be 150 million elementary school teachers and 37 middle school teachers in China. It is analyzed that a total of 187 million people will be oversupplied. This is based on the forecast that the national demand for elementary and middle school students in 2035 will reach 2020 and 5, respectively, a decrease of 1,400 and 3,800 from 9.

Professor Chao said, “The number of elementary and middle school students subject to compulsory education will peak at 2024 million in 1 and then decline rapidly.” He added, “The decline in students will inevitably affect the survival of kindergartens and elementary schools, and “Their employment difficulties will worsen,” he said.

The imbalance between supply and demand is already worsening in kindergartens. Last year, the number of kindergartens in China was 5,610, a decrease of 28 from the previous year. The number of kindergarten and elementary school students decreased by 9,200 million and 170 million, respectively, compared to the previous year. This is due to the recent worsening of the low birth rate trend. Since peaking at 100 million in 2016, the number of newborns in China has decreased by an average of 1,883 million per year, reaching 150 million in 2022, falling below 1,000 million for the first time.

As the number of students declined sharply due to a decrease in the birth population, the Chinese government also began to control the supply and demand of teachers. First, the Chinese Ministry of Education announced the ‘Reform Plan for Adjustment and Optimization of Majors in the Higher Education Field’ in March last year, requiring 3% ​​of current university departments to adopt new business models such as artificial intelligence-related high-tech industries by 2025. Most of the plans to establish new departments of education applied by 20 universities across the country were also rejected. Accordingly, the rate of refusal to establish a new department of education soared to 112%, up 33 percentage points from the previous year (12%).

Students are taking classes at an elementary school in China/Photo = Baidu

“The birth rate is also a leading economic indicator,” and the current economic situation is encouraging population decline

According to the annual report recently released by the China Population Development Research Center, China’s total fertility rate in 2022 (an indicator showing the average number of births a woman of childbearing age is expected to give birth to during her lifetime) is 1, the lowest ever. There are even pessimistic predictions that the number of newborns born this year will be lower than during the Anti-Japanese War. However, the bigger problem is that China’s economic situation, which is currently facing growing concerns about recession, is likely to further worsen the decline in the school-age population. The Bank of Korea and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) have already pointed out that there is a statistically significant causal relationship between birth rate and economic growth rate.

The theory of China’s economic crisis, which has been raised since last year, has continued until recently. Early last month, international credit rating agency Moody’s adjusted its national credit rating outlook from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’ due to concerns about the possibility of China’s long-term growth slowdown, debt problems of local governments and state-owned enterprises, and a recession in the real estate market. In addition, China’s recently announced major economic indicators still show that the Chinese economy is sluggish. Retail sales, which serve as an indicator of the domestic economy, fell below market expectations of 12.5%, and investment in fixed assets such as buildings and roads also recorded 3.0%, slightly lower than the market forecast of 2.9%.

In particular, real estate development investment between January and November of this year decreased by 1% compared to the same period last year, which suggests that real estate development within fixed asset investment is still greatly reduced. Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics, an economic research institute, said, “Real estate accounts for about 11% of China’s GDP (gross domestic product), and the recent real estate downturn in China triggered by the bankruptcy crisis of the Hengda Group is one of many of China’s current economic problems. “The problem with real estate, where the weaknesses of Chinese private investment are concentrated, is a much more serious situation than a simple lack of trust,” he said.

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