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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

Go deeper

Harris' rise illustrates the evolution of HBCUs

Kamala Harris hugs Mara Peoples, Executive Vice President of the Howard University Student Association, beside Amos Jackson III, Executive President at Howard University. Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, is the first graduate of a historically Black college or university to enter the White House — and her background reflects the changing demographics at HBCUs.

Why it matters: Harris‘ accession highlights the often overlooked legacy of HBCUs, which have educated Black students for generations. Today, the schools also attract Latino and Asian American students, as well as students from immigrant families, amid a transforming nation.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

35 mins ago - World

Olaf Scholz sworn in as German chancellor, succeeding Merkel

Incoming German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is sworn in by Bundestag President Bärbel Bas in Berlin today. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Social Democrat Olaf Scholz was sworn in as chancellor of Germany on Wednesday, succeeding Angela Merkel after 16 years and launching a new era of German and European politics.

Why it matters: Scholz, a center-left pragmatist who served as finance minister and vice chancellor in Merkel's last government, will lead Europe's largest economy in a coalition with the environmentalist Greens and pro-business Free Democrats.