As part of our continued effort to track the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic on nonprofit employment, we have analyzed data from the latest BLS Employment Situation Report to estimate nonprofit job losses through September 2020.
How did nonprofits fare in September?
Unfortunately, the month of September showed only a modest 2% recovery of nonprofit jobs compared to the situation we reported in August.1August estimates have been adjusted to reflect BLS revisions adding 145,000 more jobs in July and August than previously reported. BLS monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors. For more information, see: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics September Employment Situation Report. The only major field that enjoyed a rebound of more than 10% overall was social assistance at 12.8%. What is more, September brought significant additional losses in the key field of education totaling nearly 50,000 jobs—a drop of 24% from August employment levels, as shown in Figure 1.
As of September 2020, the nonprofit workforce remained down by nearly 1 million jobs compared to its pre-pandemic February levels. Especially still hard hit are nonprofit jobs in many of the key service fields critical to the COVID response, including: nearly 300,000 jobs lost in health care; over a quarter million jobs lost in private education; more than 150,000 jobs lost in the social services field; and almost 125,000 jobs lost in the arts, as shown in Figure 2.
As a result, as shown in Figure 3, the total nonprofit workforce at the end of September 2020 thus remained down by 7.6% from its pre-March 2020 level. Particularly hard-hit were jobs in arts, entertainment, and recreation (-35%); education (-12.6%); other services, which includes foundations and civic, social, and advocacy organizations (-11.2%), and social services (-10%).
A steadily slowing recovery—June through September
The slowdown in job recovery reflected in the September data is unfortunately not an outlier. To the contrary, it continues a slowdown in the recovery that has been underway for several months, especially in fields in which nonprofits are particularly active. Thus, while over 24% of the estimated 1.6 million total pandemic-related nonprofit job losses2See: Salamon & Newhouse, Johns Hopkins 2020 Nonprofit Employment Report, (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies), June 2020. were recovered in June, the rate of recovery slipped to 9% in July, to barely 7% in August, and to only 1.1% in September, as shown in Figure 4.
As shown in Figure 5, moreover, this progressive slowdown in the recovery was evident in almost every field.
With discouraging evidence that the COVID virus is far from tamed and impediments to the return to normalcy in fields in which nonprofits are active likely to remain in place, the estimated 1 million nonprofit workers who have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic may therefore not regain them anytime soon. With Congress and the administration unable to come to agreement on a meaningful new recovery package, it will be up to strained charities to help the nonprofit workforce cope with the pressures its members are under—a challenge that at least some communities have heroically undertaken. In the meantime, we can hope that the imminent election will yield a set of policy measures that can tame the pandemic and thereby open the way to reviving the economy and the workplace for our country’s third largest workforce. Beyond that, it will be more vital than ever to keep a close eye on the status of the nonprofit workforce and ensure that these critical organizations and the workers who allow them to operate receive the support they need and deserve.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse We are pleased to announce the publication of an in-depth case study of the newest and largest foundation to emerge from the implementation of the PtP Concept—a recently discovered, but powerful, “third route” to
SEPTEMBER 4, 2020 For immediate release Contact: Chelsea Newhouse [download as a PDF] Despite a partial recovery of the U.S. economy from the recent pandemic, new data released today by the U.S. Bureau Labor Statistics suggests that nonprofit employment
Following on the heels of our Tuesday release of the 2020 Nonprofit Employment Report, we are pleased to invite you to explore our new interactive nonprofit employment data dashboard, which provides access to more detailed state-level data than we were
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact: Chelsea Newhouse A new report from the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies finds that U.S. nonprofits maintained their position as the third largest employer in the U.S. economy, overtaking manufacturing by
Center Director Lester Salamon is pleased to participate in an upcoming webinar hosted by Fund the People that will explore the economic and social importance of the U.S. nonprofit workforce, and how we can help policymakers understand and support nonprofit
Dear Friends and Colleagues, It is with great sadness that I write to announce the passing on Saturday, May 3, of our dear friend and colleague, Wojciech Sokolowski. As you may be aware, Wojciech had been suffering for
A new article focusing on PtP has been published in the latest edition of The World Financial Review. Noting that past experience with the return of stolen assets to governments has too often led to disappointing results, this brief piece,
A new article by Center Director Lester Salamon published on the WINGS Philanthropy in Focus blog introduces a promising new route to creating endowed charitable foundations through the process we have termed “Philanthropication thru Privatization,” or PtP for short. This
PtP: 635 foundations, $200 billion in assets and counting The PtP Project team is pleased pleased to let you know that the number of identified PtP foundations around the world has continued to expand, as has the amount of assets
Media contacts: Chelsea Newhouse (JHU/CCSS) Stephanie Herzfeld (Rotary) [download as PDF] According to a new study released today by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, with just 563 paid employees globally, Rotary International annually mobilizes volunteer effort
UPDATED September 6, 2019 Media contact: Chelsea Newhouse [download as PDF] Common wisdom holds that nonprofit employment is essentially an urban phenomenon. But new data generated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics using a technique developed by
U.S. nonprofits maintained a robust pattern of job growth through 2016, the latest year for which data are available. But for-profit companies are making significant inroads in key nonprofit fields, cutting into nonprofits’ market share. These are just
Following on the heels of a recent addition of 2015 estimates of nonprofit employment, the Center for Civil Society Studies is pleased to announce the addition to the Nonprofit Works interactive database of a full set of data on 2016
Rotary International is partnering with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies to capture an accurate picture of the amount, character, and value of volunteer work activities that Rotary either sponsors or organizes. At the core of this
Capping a three-year process, the United Nations has released a new statistical guidance document for nations to use to generate solid data on the world’s third, or social economy, sector—the TSE Sector. Unknown by most observers, this sector—embracing nonprofit
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media contact: Chelsea Newhouse [download as PDF] Data just released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics using a technique first developed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies shows
Employment in America’s nonprofit organizations continued to gain ground on other major industries in recent years according to a new report just issued by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. Based on projections from U.S. Bureau of
An Important Assist to Nonprofit Advocacy Efforts Nonprofit and foundation leaders have long struggled to compete with entrenched business interests in convincing government officials of the importance of their “industry” to the states and communities in which they operate.
Dear Friends and Colleagues, I regret to inform you that Dr. Helen Stone Tice, a long-time colleague of our Center and a former senior analyst at the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), passed away this past Thursday, March
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse Governments around the world have recently been involved in a significant new wave of privatizations-sales of state-owned enterprises to private companies. The 48-month period between January 2013 and December 2016 saw governments raise
Dear Friends and Colleagues: 2017 may well go down as one of the most productive and significant years in the history of our Center. Indeed, as we reflect on our work over this past eventful year, two words come
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Chelsea Newhouse According to a recent UN report, close to US$4 trillion is stolen from governments or generated by bribes or other forms of corruption each year in countries around the world—an annual sum
The Johns Hopkins University Press is pleased to announce its publication of Explaining Civil Society Development: A Social Origins Approach by Lester M. Salamon, S. Wojciech Sokolowski, Megan A. Haddock, and Associates. The civil society sector—made up of millions