Nonprofit Job Growth Slowed In November

Most fields of the nonprofit sector are on pace to return to pre-pandemic levels of employment within the year, according to the latest estimates from the Center for Civil Society Studies (CCSS) at Johns Hopkins University.

Nonprofits gained more than 5,000 jobs in November, reducing the total 490,464 lost jobs by 1.1%, compared with almost 45,000 jobs, or 8.3%, in October. CCSS issued its monthly COVID-19 jobs update for November.

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations led all fields with a recovery of 2,809 jobs in November, reducing the number of missing jobs by 7.1%, following a loss of almost 1,800 jobs in October.

The aggregate “other” fields category added 1,834 jobs during November, bringing overall nonprofit employment in these fields approximately 1,060 workers above estimated pre-pandemic numbers, according to CCSS estimates.

Social assistance organizations added 1,480 workers during the month, reducing the number of jobs missing in the field by 2.6%. Nonprofit health care institutions followed a strong month of job gains in October with a recovery of 912 jobs in November, just 0.5% of the October jobs deficit. Arts, entertainment, and recreational organizations added an estimated 791 jobs during the month, or 1.7% of the still-missing jobs in this field. Educational institutions were the only area to suffer a loss, down 1.3% or 1,632 jobs.

The nonprofit workforce as of November 2021 is estimated to be approximately 3.9% smaller compared to pre-pandemic levels. That translates to about 485,000 jobs of the initial 1.64 million lost. Missing nonprofit jobs include 13% in arts and entertainment organizations; 6.3% in education; 4.5% in religious, grantmaking, and civic associations; and 3.7% of workers in social services. The nonprofit health care workforce remained down by an estimated 196,000 jobs, or 2.9% of the pre-pandemic workforce.

Nonprofits have recovered more than 70% of the jobs lost as of May 2020, CCSS estimates.

All but one major field of nonprofit activity recorded a positive recovery during November 2021.
Among the major fields of nonprofit activity, the largest recovery was in religious, grantmaking, civil, and professional associations, which regained nearly 2% of their initial job losses during November. Nonprofits operating in social assistance (0.6%), arts, entertainment, and recreation (0.4%), and health care (0.2%), all saw small recoveries. The only exception was educational institutions, which experienced losses of 0.5% in November.

Assuming an average rate of nonprofit job recovery from January through November 2021 will prevail moving forward, CCSS estimated the sector would take more than 11 months overall to return to pre-COVID levels of employment, led by arts, entertainment and recreation (6.4 months), educational services (6.5), religious, grantmaking, civic, professional (7.8), and social assistance (9.5).

“While nonprofits were able to recover a marginal number of jobs in November 2021, the increasing uncertainty of the near-term course of the COVID-19 pandemic occasioned by the emergence of the Omicron variant, coupled with the uneven recovery recorded during the fall, makes the future recovery the of nonprofit workforce more difficult to predict as we enter into the holiday season.”