Center for American Progress

RELEASE: New CAP Analysis Shows Home Care and Early Childhood Workers Are a Sizable Part of the Workforce in Many States
Press Release

RELEASE: New CAP Analysis Shows Home Care and Early Childhood Workers Are a Sizable Part of the Workforce in Many States

Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from the Center for American Progress demonstrates the footprint of home care workers and early childhood educators in the American labor market in each state. The analysis finds that:

  • Almost 3.2 million Americans—overwhelmingly women, and disproportionately women of color—are employed in home health and early childhood occupations, representing 2.2 percent of employment in the United States.
  • Overall, home care alone is the fourth-largest occupation by volume of employed people nationally and the most common occupation in California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania.
  • Currently, women account for 88 percent of all early childhood and home care workers. Women of color account for 36 percent of these workers, with Hispanic women representing 18 percent of workers.
  • By significantly investing in home and community-based services, child care, and preschool, the Build Back Better agenda can create nearly 1.1 million home care and early childhood jobs over 10 years, as well as lead to higher wages for a workforce that has been consistently underpaid and undervalued.
  • Proposed Build Back Better investments would create new jobs and thus benefit 1 in 35 workers, 1 in 20 employed women, and 1 in 11 employed women of color.

“Millions of Americans—largely women, and disproportionately women of color—work in the home care and early childhood fields. Despite the fact that they do difficult work providing critical, often lifesaving services to many of the most vulnerable members of society, these workers have long been underpaid and undervalued,” said Rose Khattar, associate director of rapid response and analysis on the Economic Policy team at CAP. “The Build Back Better agenda currently being debated in Congress would make significant investments in these workforces. These investments would not only ensure that young children, disabled people, and seniors get better care but would also have a significant, positive impact on the economies of many states. Also, because so many home care workers and early childhood educators are women, and especially women of color, ensuring that these workers are paid and treated fairly would positively affect racial and gender wage gaps.”

Read the analysis: “Investing in Home Care and Early Childhood Educators Has Outsize Impacts on Employment” by Marina Zhavoronkova and Rose Khattar

For more information on this topic or to speak to an expert, contact Julia Cusick at jcusick@americanprogress.org.