Nov 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

The worst year for education jobs since 2000

Data: Pew Charitable Trusts; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios
Data: Pew Charitable Trusts; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

State and local education employment is down 8.8% in October compared with 2019. That's education's lowest national jobs total in 20 years, according to an analysis out Tuesday from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Why it matters: With school closures, temporary layoffs and positions left unfilled in the new school year, the education workforce has been one of the hardest hit amid the pandemic.

The big picture: In addition to teachers, non-instructional positions like bus drivers, food service personnel and other support staff bore the brunt of the losses as schools shifted to distance learning.

By the numbers: Nevada (-19%), West Virginia (-14%) and Florida (-13%) recorded the largest education job declines from a year ago.

  • North Dakota and Utah were the only states reporting gains in local education jobs.
  • Private sector jobs dropped 6.2% year over year.
  • Public colleges and universities experienced a sharper drop in employment of 13.7%. Still, this loss represents only about half of what K-12 experienced.

What to watch: A significant portion of job losses may bounce back when students physically return to classrooms, or if Congress decides to approve additional funding for education, per Pew's report.

Go deeper: America's education workforce needs students at school

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