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COVID-19’s disruptions disproportionately hit child care workers


As the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of child care in supporting employment among the nation’s nearly 20 million working parents with young children, the child care occupation itself has suffered large, sustained employment losses. Our data analysis shows that over 40 percent of child care workers who were employed in February 2020—just before the pandemic took hold in the U.S.—were unemployed in April 2020, and total employment in January 2021 remained 20 percent below pre-pandemic levels. These workers were already in a position of economic disadvantage prior to the pandemic. They are predominantly women, are disproportionately people of color, and earn low wages. Our results highlight the need to support both child care workers, who have suffered disproportionately during the pandemic; and the industry, which is critical to our economic recovery. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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