Related BLS programs | Related articles
August 1995, Vol. 118, No. 8
T he daily life of preschool children in the United States has changed dramatically in the last 20 years. Because mothers of young children are far more likely to work than any other time in the past, mother and child now spend much less time at home.1 Furthermore, far more relatives-particularly women-also are employed, and have less time to spend with nephews, nieces, young cousins, and grandchildren. For these and other reasons, young children are more likely to attend day care centers. During the 2 decades, employment in private-sector day care centers increased by more than 250 percent, gaining nearly 400,000 jobs and continuing to grow during two of the four recessions in the period. No single factor influencing the day care industry and examined here has increased as has employment in the industry. Instead, a combination of at least five major factors drives demand for the services of child-care centers.
Employment growth in the day care industry since 1972 has been much more rapid than the growth of most industries: overall, the number of day care jobs has grown by approximately 250 percent, or 375,000 jobs. Growth occurred almost throughout the 22-year period, except for the early 1980's, during which two back to back recessions occurred. From early 1979 to summer of 1982, 30,000 jobs were lost in day care. Renewed growth from fall 1982 to mid-1985 expanded the number of jobs to above the preceding peak, and strong growth has since continued. Unlike most industries, child day care continued to expand vigorously during the recessions of 1973-75 and 1990-91. Explanations for these movements including the seemingly inconsistent behavior in the various recessions, are discussed below.
This excerpt is from an article published in the August 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
Read abstract Download full text in PDF (633K)
1 See Howard V. Hayghe, "Are women leaving the labor force?" Monthly Labor Review, July 1994, pp.37-39.
Within Monthly Labor Review Online:
Welcome | Current Issue | Index | Subscribe | Archives
Exit Monthly Labor Review Online:
BLS Home | Publications & Research Papers