Worker shortage hangs over back-to-school rush


According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment situation in local government, particularly in schools, has not fully recovered from the impact of the pandemic. This is concerning as schools are now reopening and facing challenges in hiring enough teachers. Despite efforts to increase recruitment and raise wages, schools are still struggling to attract teachers, as highlighted by Julia Pollak, ZipRecruiter's chief economist. 

The research from ADP's Nela Richardson indicates that many teachers left the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some older teachers retiring and younger teachers not returning after being furloughed. The shortage of teachers is more pronounced in areas with low teacher pay and high poverty rates among students, although low pay remains an issue across the education industry given the current robust labor market. 

It is worth noting that prior to 2020, local government hiring had finally recovered from the financial crisis, after a long period of slow progress. However, the number of local government employees in the United States has now returned to the level it was at in 2018 when the recovery was still underway. This indicates that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the employment situation in local government, particularly in schools.  

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