The early care and education sector suffered massive job losses due to COVID-19, exacerbating a workforce crisis that existed long before the onset of the pandemic. Recovery has been slow and is challenged as teachers walk away for higher pay at Target, Amazon, and the hardware store.
Since the pandemic began, jobs held by women are 96 percent of pre-pandemic levels recorded in February 2020. Child care jobs, held almost exclusively by women, have returned at a slower pace. Though they have reached their highest level since the onset of the pandemic, they are still just 90% of what they were in February 2020.
While some state and metro areas mirror the national trend, others have been more severely impacted. In both New York and New Jersey, child care employment is only 74% of pre-pandemic levels. Massachusetts continues to experience a decline in numbers, and is now 63% of pre-pandemic child care job levels.
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*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.