Driver Priscille Hetzel inspects her bus before starting her route. Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

"For generations of Americans, working for a state or local government — as a teacher, firefighter, bus driver or nurse — provided a comfortable nook in the middle class," the N.Y. Times' Patricia Cohen and Robert Gebeloff write. But "[i]n recent years, ... the ranks of state and local employees have languished even as the populations they serve have grown. They now account for the smallest share of the American civilian work force since 1967."

Why it matters: "No less than automobile assembly lines and steel plants, the public sector ensured that even workers without a college education could afford a home, a minivan, movie nights and a family vacation."

  • "The 19.5 million workers who remain are finding themselves financially downgraded."
  • "Teachers who have been protesting low wages and sparse resources in Oklahoma, West Virginia and Kentucky — and those in Arizona who say they plan to walk out on Thursday — are just one thread in that larger skein."

N.Y. Times Quote of the Day ... Eldon Johnson, 40, a state employee who cares for children with cerebral palsy and autism in Norman, Okla., eight hours a day, then works overnight at a better-paying private mental health center:

  • “There’s no way I could make it without a second job, unless I lived in a box, and maybe had a moped.”

Go deeper

Natural gas pipeline project cancelled after Supreme Court victory

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Dominion Energy announced Sunday it has agreed to sell its natural gas transmission and storage network to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in a deal valued at $10 billion, including the assumption of debt.

Why it matters: The deal comes as Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy announced they are canceling their plans for the $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline following a Supreme Court ruling. The ruling removed major hurdles for the companies, but "recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated" for the project.

Trump campaign "strongly" encourages face masks at outdoor rally

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Trump campaign will be providing face masks and hand sanitizer for all attendees at an upcoming rally Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

  • The campaign said in an email on Sunday that attendees are "strongly encouraged" to wear the masks.

Why it matters: The campaign's first coronavirus-era rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was notable for its lack of masks.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 11,317,637 — Total deaths: 531,729 — Total recoveries — 6,111,910Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,852,807 — Total deaths: 129,718 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity — Houston mayor warns about hospitals
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Former Trump official Tom Bossert says face masks “are not enough”
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: Sports return stalked by coronavirus
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.