Surprise labor shortage hits schools

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School is back, but the staff – teachers, bus drivers and more – are not.

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why it matters: The slowdown in education hiring (which helps explain Friday morning’s weak jobs report) is partly a byproduct of the biggest barriers to labor market reform.

  • Education workers are usually women, who have left the workforce in large numbers. They are also older, so they may be more concerned about contracting COVID-19.

By numbers: Local government school districts lost another 1,44,000 jobs last month and another 17,000 at the state level.

  • Private education jobs declined by 19,000.

a warning: A data quirk makes the hiring drop-off more dramatic.

  • The agency in charge of the jobs report makes adjustments to smooth out seasonal fluctuations that affect education.
  • But hiring in this sector was generally weaker than in the prime back-to-school season. Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, told Nerdshala that the seasonal formula “wreaked havoc”, and it exacerbated the decline.

anecdotes across the country Show that there are not enough people working the local school system.

  • in Philadelphia, Bus driver shortage so much so that there is a school district some families pay Up to $300 to support your kids.
  • in Minneapolis, a district Cancelled 12 bus routes. It may not get a fill-in when a regular driver is out.
  • in Charlotte, a school system Proposal Bonuses to entice special education teachers and other traders.
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what to watch: “If kids are back in school and there are too few staff, the quality of education is getting worse,” Julia Pollak, chief economist at ZipRecruiter, told Nerdshala.

Nerdshala Local’s Taylor Allen, Torey van Oot and Katie Peralta Soloff contributed reporting.

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