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 continues to be challenged as teachers walk away for higher pay at Target, Amazon, and the hardware store.
Child care jobs, held almost exclusively by women, are returning at a slow pace. Though they have reached their highest level since the onset of the pandemic, just 700 child care jobs were added in October (after accounting for the BLS adjustments to the September report).
Some states and metro areas that experienced declines this summer picked up sharply in September, though employment remains below pre-pandemic levels. The number of child care jobs in Massachusetts increased about 12.5% from August, but overall is only at 76.5% of pre-pandemic child care job levels. New York State and City as well as New Jersey experienced large jumps, while California and Texas increased at a slower pace. (As noted below, these numbers are a month behind the national data.)
*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.