Nonprofit Jobs Up, Recovery To Take 2 Years

Nonprofits recovered 45 percent of initial job losses since May, including 2.3 percent in October. At that rate, it would take another two years to recover all 1.6 million nonprofit jobs lost since the pandemic started.

Those are the findings from the Center for Civil Society Studies (CCSS) at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which analyzes data from the latest BLS Employment Situation Report to estimate nonprofit job losses since the pandemic started.

The latest report, released Monday, indicates a 4 percent recovery in October, up from 2 percent in September. Only within the health field did improvement approach 10 percent of the remaining losses reported in September. In education, October continued a trend of losses totaling an additional 15,000 jobs, down 6.6 percent from September.

Since a 24-percent recovery in June of the estimated 1.6 million nonprofit jobs missing as of May, the recovery rate has slipped every month, down to 2.3 percent in October.

As of October, the nonprofit workforce remained down by more than 900,000 jobs compared to February, a decline of 7.3 percent. Those losses include more than 250,000 in health care, more than 145,000 in social assistance organizations, and more than 120,000 in arts and culture nonprofits.

The pattern of progressively slower recovery of overall jobs lost at the onset of the pandemic was evident in almost every field. Month-to-month improvement in the nonprofit job picture has been modest at best in most fields, and has noticeably worsened in the field of education, where losses in September and October effectively wiped out gains in July and August, according to the center.

Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations previously had defied a downward trend, but saw less than a 1 percent recovery in October.

“With the onset of the recent spike in daily COVID-19 infections and deaths and the resulting re-institutions of restrictions aimed at curbing these new trends, it seems quite possible that even the recent slow recovery in nonprofit jobs evident in recent months will not be sustained in November and possibly beyond,” according to the center’s latest release. “While hope may be on the horizon in the form of promising treatments, vaccines, and the potential for more proactive government intervention, it will therefore be crucial to continue to monitor the impact of the current COVID surge on the nonprofit workforce, which remains a crucial lifeline to the delivery of services vital to the health and safety, as well as the economic recovery, of the nation.”