Hundreds of Missouri Teachers Are Moonlighting as Airbnb Hosts

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The rest of us working slobs may envy teachers their long summer breaks — but the data suggests that teachers in Missouri are hardly taking it easy. In fact, hundreds of them are hosting strangers to supplement their income.

That's according to a new study from home-sharing site Airbnb, which found that Missouri's percentage of teacher hosts is among the highest in the nation. Roughly 600 Missouri teachers have signed up to rent out their homes or rental properties on the site, the company says — making up sixteen percent of the state's Airbnb hosts.

According to the report, that's a higher percentage than all but four other states (that's Wisconsin, Utah, Ohio and Minnesota, for those of you keeping a scorecard at home).

Is this a sign of underpaid teachers — or the glorious opportunities of the so-called gig economy? Maybe a bit of both. Recent studies have suggested Missouri teachers are paid far less than the national average, with a statewide average of $49,760 (though salaries vary widely by district and level of experience).

But there's also real gold in them thar hills. The Airbnb report found that Missouri teachers peak hosting activity coincided nicely with the state's high travel season (because what better time to visit balmy St. Louis than July or August?). Even though Missouri teachers typically leased out their spaces for just 43 days a year, they still took in some big bucks — a collective $951,000 in 2017. The summer months alone notched teachers $317,000 in extra income, the report says.

That, by the way, likely includes a whole bunch of St. Louis teachers: The city leads the state in Airbnb earnings. And our hosts — just like that teacher you remember from first grade — are as nice as they come, too.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]

About The Author

Sarah Fenske

Sarah Fenske is the executive editor of Euclid Media Group, overseeing publications in eight cities. She is the former host of St. Louis on the Air and was previously editor-in-chief of the RFT and the LA Weekly. She lives in St. Louis.
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