Wednesday Night Owls: Public education’s April job losses exceed those of the entire Great Recession

Wednesday Night Owls: Public education’s April job losses exceed those of the entire Great Recession

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Elise Gould at the Economic Policy Institute writes—Public education job losses in April are already greater than in all of the Great Recession:

It has been well documented that fiscal austerity was a catastrophe for the recovery from the Great Recession. New estimates show that without sufficient aid to state and local governments, the COVID-19 shock could lead to a revenue shortfall of nearly $1 trillion by 2021 for state and local governments. In lieu of substantial federal investments, budget cuts are certain. But I, for one, did not expect to see the losses as soon as April. As of the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), state and local government employment fell by 981,000, with the vast majority of losses found in local government. And the majority of those local government losses are in the education sector, with a loss of 468,800 jobs in local public school employment alone.

State and local government austerity in the aftermath of the Great Recession contributed to a significant shortfall in employment in public K–12 school systems, a shortfall that continued through 2019. The figure below shows that, as of early 2020, public employment in elementary and secondary schools had yet to recover the level it had reached prior to the losses of the Great Recession. Furthermore, employment levels in the public education system have failed to keep up with growth in public school enrollment since 2008. As of September 2019, the start of the most recent pre-pandemic school year, local public education jobs were still 60,000 short of their September 2008 level, and they were over 300,000 lower than they would have needed to be to keep up with public school enrollment.

Then, the pandemic hit and local education jobs dropped sharply. More K–12 public education jobs were lost in April than in all of the Great Recession. And that’s before any austerity measures from lost state and local revenue have been put in place. A look at the Current Population Survey reveals that losses in public education were concentrated in certain occupations. While some teachers were spared, namely elementary and middle school teachers, others were not.  […]

(Something else worth reading. Blue Telusma writes at The Grio5 things to consider before sharing ‘trauma porn’ videos on social media.)



“We don’t need police officers who are soldiers. We need police who are guardians.”
~~Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (2015)


Healing and justice must be codified in lawmaking.

— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) June 3, 2020


At Daily Kos on this date in 2011—Crunch. Jobs report even worse than projected:

Analysts’ expectations ahead of today’s monthly jobs report were lowered this week after the release of troubling news about manufacturing, housing and retail sales. But they weren’t lowered enough.

In its seasonally adjusted report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that only 54,000 jobs were added to the economy, far below the monthly average of 182,000 new jobs added in the first four months of 2011. The private sector added 83,000 jobs, less than a third of what it did in April. Layoffs of 28,000 public-sector employees by financially straitened state and local governments brought the overall numbers down.

The official unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin says the polls say that Trump’s bet on putting armies (real or created from gussied up Federales) in the streets isn’t working. But he’s sure it’s a big hit, because Ivanka directed the show! Why do Dem allies often fail us on police reform?

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