Healthcare Leads NPO Jobs Recovery

Nonprofit job recovery since the start of the pandemic continued to inch up in November but at the current rate, it would be mid-2022 before a full recovery is achieved.

In November, nonprofit jobs recovered by 3.4%, almost 31,000 jobs, compared to October, according to the latest analysis by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies (CCSS).

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Healthcare leads the gains at 8.2% of the recovered jobs followed by the arts at 5.5%. Religious institutions, foundations and associations recovered just 0.2%, about 120 jobs, in November compared with a 1.7% recovery in the previous month. Education was the only area that continued to shed jobs — an additional 4,000, down 1.6%, in November compared to more than 15,000, down 6.6%, in October.

November’s recovered jobs of 30,735 represented a recovery rate of 1.9% of the estimated 1.64 million in losses combined from March, April and May – the first three months of the pandemic. That’s a reversal of the small upward bump in job recoveries achieved in October. If the current rate of nonprofit job growth was to continue, it would take almost 2½ years to recover the 877,802 jobs losses that remained in November.

Since the pandemic began, the nonprofit workforce has lost almost 878,000 jobs, about 7%. That’s more than a quarter-million workers in nonprofit education organizations, almost as many in health care, and more than 135,000 workers in social assistance organizations and 115,000 in arts and culture.

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The center analyzes data from the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Report to track the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on nonprofit employment. The center examines month-over-month trends to see how the overall recovery of early nonprofit job losses is proceeding and what that may mean for the long-term recovery of sector employment into 2021 and beyond.

“Given dramatic recent surges in new COVID-19 infections and deaths, the increasing restrictions being instituted around the country in an attempt to stem the tide, the looming expiration of existing policy interventions, and the likelihood that vaccinations will not be available to the majority of the population until at least the second quarter of 2021, it seems likely that the recent slowing of nonprofit job recovery will persist, or perhaps even intensify in the coming months. This will put added strain on institutions that are especially critical to managing the crisis.”