‘The Rundown’: Could there be a post-pandemic teacher shortage in Utah?

Your Monday morning Utah political news cheat sheet

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Could there be a post-pandemic teacher shortage in Utah?

Don’t expect the labor shortage to ease anytime soon.

Job openings in the U.S. jumped to 9.21 million in May, up from 9.19 million the previous month. This means businesses will continue to fight over a small pool of workers. But experts say that should ease with the ending of enhanced unemployment. There was roughly one opening for every available worker in May.

According to the monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workers who quit in April was a little more than 3.5 million, down from 3.99 million in April. Most of those who quit their jobs were in the professional and businesses service sector.

One alarming number in the JOLTS data is a rising number of job openings in the education sector. In May of 2020, there were 57,000 job openings. One year later, that number jumped to 77,800. That suggests teachers are leaving the industry after a year of pandemic and remote teaching.

Utah may avoid a teacher shortage. Data from the Utah Board of Education shows a 93% teacher retention rate between the 2019-20 school year and the current one is 93%.

Here’s what you need to know for Monday morning

Utah news

  • Funny how that works. Sen. Mike Lee attacked critical race theory during an interview on Fox News, then almost immediately sent out a fundraising appeal on the issue. [Tribune]

  • Outside groups are already attacking Lee’s opponents in next year’s elections. Robert Gehrke says Lee could call off those attack dogs, but he probably won’t. [Tribune]

  • The leader of Utah’s NAACP condemned a statement from Black Lives Matter Utah calling the American flag a racist symbol. [Tribune]

  • A 19-year old woman in Panguitch was charged with a hate crime after a police officer saw her stomp on a “Back the Blue” sign and crumple it “while smirking in an intimidating manner.” She faces up to a year in prison. [Tribune]

  • UDOT is proposing a gondola system running the length of Little Cottonwood Canyon as a possible solution to traffic congestion. [Tribune]

National news

  • Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin warns new variants of the coronavirus pose a real threat to economic recovery. [NYT]

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the number of COVID-19-related deaths would rise in areas with low vaccination rates. [CNN]

  • Amid rising crime numbers, the White House plans to urge local leaders to use COVID-19 relief funds to help alleviate the problem. [Axios]

  • Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham are driving much of the resistance to the COVID-19 vaccination, even though Rupert Murdoch received a dose of the vaccine before many world leaders did. [NYT]

  • Police in Denver arrested four people after a cache of guns, ammo, and body armor was discovered in a hotel near the upcoming MLB All-Star Game. Authorities said the arrests might have headed off a mass shooting. [NBC News]

  • Cubans hit the streets in massive protests over the weekend. Food shortages and rising prices touched off the demonstrations. [NYT]

  • The brutal heat wave gripping the western United States will continue this week. Death Valley, California, recorded a high temperature of 130 over the weekend. More than 300,000 acres are currently on fire [AP]

  • The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan will step down today, marking the end of the war that has lasted 20 years. [WaPo]

  • Republicans in Texas advanced a bill to restrict voting access after a marathon hearing that lasted almost 24 hours. [NYT]

  • Police say one of the suspects arrested in the killing of Haiti’s president planned to assume the presidency. [WaPo]

  • China is threatening to retaliate after the U.S. blacklisted several companies over their alleged role in abuses against Uyghur people. [AP]

  • Egypt’s top spy claimed in 2015 the U.S. agreed — in writing — to jail an American activist. [Politico]

  • Former President Donald Trump repeated the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him during a speech at a conservative political conference in Dallas. He also downplayed the assault on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of his supporters on Jan. 6. [Yahoo! News]

Monday’s Utah news roundup


  • VIDEO: A West Valley police officer killed a man inside the police department. It was his third shooting. [Tribune]

  • Why heatwaves produce outages and how you can de-stress the system. [Tribune]

  • Project in rural Utah aims to tap into limitless supply of clean, reliable energy. [Tribune]

  • ‘Of course we can’: The Utah Shakespeare Festival goes all in for its 2021 season. [Tribune]

  • Another side effect of Utah’s drought: A terrible allergy season. [Tribune]

  • Nation’s eyes on Utah: How is Gov. Cox handling the ‘twin crises’ of COVID-19, drought? [Deseret News]

  • Intermountain Healthcare announces plans to close 25 retail pharmacies. [Fox 13]


  • One of BYU’s 3 locations will require students be vaccinated against COVID-19. Hint: It’s not Provo. [Tribune]

  • Are there going to be COVID-19 booster shots? Here’s what we know. [Deseret News]


  • June was the hottest month on record for Utah, NOAA report says. [Tribune]

  • Smoke could clear out of southern Utah by Tuesday, but not up here. [Tribune]

  • Why is it smoky in Utah? Because of wildfires in Western states, National Weather Service says. [Tribune]

  • Excessive heat heading into Monday. [Fox 13]

  • Utah unofficially ties all-time high temperature. [Fox 13]

On the opinion pages

  • We need specifics, not slick promises, from Inland Port Authority, Editorial board writes. [Tribune]

  • Mitt Romney: How the negotiated infrastructure plan would benefit Utah. [Deseret News]

🎂 You say it’s your birthday?!!

Happy birthday to Utah State Society President Dain Hansen and former Taylorsville Mayor Jerry Rechtenbach.

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