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The early care and education sector suffered extensive job losses due to COVID-19, exacerbating a workforce crisis that existed long before the onset of the pandemic. Recovery continues to be challenged. Nationally, the child care sector recorded 3,700 fewer jobs than the previous month (after accounting for the BLS adjustments to the November report).

Job numbers from selected states and metro areas show child care job numbers continue to improve in some locations. Notably, child care employment in New York City has reached pre-pandemic levels. Metro Los Angeles is at 90.6 percent of jobs, and the state of California continues its steady gain to 92.1 percent. However, many parts of the country continue to struggle as child care employment numbers for the nation as a whole have dipped during this same period.

Revisit this site page each month for updates.

*More details on the data source:

  • Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021). Employment, Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey. 
  • Current month’s jobs numbers are a preliminary estimate by BLS.  
  • These estimates include employees in the “child day care services” industry, which includes child care, Head Start, preschool and school-age care programs. The estimates include employees only and do not include self-employed workers, such as owners of home-based child care.
  • This employment data cannot be disaggregated by education, race/ethnicity, role, setting, or funding stream.
  • For the “child day care services” industry, estimates for a small number of states and cities are available, a selection of which are included here. The availability of state- or city-level estimates varies by industry, and the most recent month’s jobs numbers are a preliminary estimate by BLS. These data are released by BLS later in the month than national figures.