As of the latest data available, nonprofit organizations employed the third largest workforce in the U.S. economy, overtaking manufacturing by nearly 100,000 workers nation-wide in 2017. Indeed, the only industries employing more workers than the nonprofit sector in 2017 were retail trade and restaurants and hotels.
However, as is the case with all sectors of the economy, nonprofits face challenging times as a result of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The precise scale of these losses is not yet clearly apparent, however, since the Bureau of Labor Statistics has not updated its 2017 nonprofit employment data. We therefore do not know whether nonprofits managed to repeat their prior documented practice of resisting the sharper declines in employment that for-profit employers, even in the same service fields, experienced during previous recessions.
However, in an attempt to provide baseline against which to measure the response of the sector once updated data become available, and to surface areas of concern, the Johns Hopkins Economic Data Project has undertaken a series of estimates of the projected impact of COVID-related job losses on nonprofits, beginning with an estimated 1.6 million job losses from March through May included in our 2020 Nonprofit Employment Report. To do so, we took the conservative approach of assuming that nonprofit job losses have been roughly proportional to the share of nonprofit jobs in the various fields in which nonprofits were active as of the latest date for which such data are available, i.e., 2017. We then applied these percentages to the changes in employment as reported in monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Reports.
Collected below are links to our monthly estimates, including the initial estimates from the 2020 Nonprofit Employment report and updates covering August 2020 through December 2021. Also included below is a summary data dashboard, which will be updated in 2022.
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, DECEMBER 2021 | A final update on the nonprofit jobs recovery
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2021 | Nonprofits add just 5,000 jobs in November
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, OCTOBER 2021 | Nonprofit recovery rises to 70% of initial job losses
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2021 | Nonprofits shed jobs for the first time since December 2020
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, AUGUST 2021 | Nonprofits add just 42,000 workers in August as job recovery slows
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, JULY 2021 | Nonprofits add nearly 70,000 jobs, with educational institutions leading the way
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, JUNE 2021 | An overall strong recovery, but a loss of 5,300 health care jobs
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, MAY 2021 | Nonprofit job recovery rebounds in May, with a gain of 63,000 jobs
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, APRIL 2021 | Rate of Nonprofit Job Recovery Slows Significantly in April
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, MARCH 2021 | Nonprofits Regained Nearly 81,000 Jobs in March, but Still Face a Long Road to Full Recovery
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, FEBRUARY 2021: Nonprofit Sector Lost Over 7% of Its Workforce in the First Year of the Pandemic
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, JANUARY 2021: Nonprofit Jobs Still Down by Nearly 960,000 as of January, Time to Full Recovery Increases to 2 Years
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, DECEMBER 2020: Nonprofits Lost Over 50,000 Jobs in December, Reversing a Slow Recovery
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, NOVEMBER 2020: Nonprofit Job Recovery Rate Drops to 1.9% in November, Could Take 2.4 Years to Fully Recover
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, OCTOBER 2020: Nonprofit Jobs Rebound Slightly in October, But Remain Down by Over 900,000 Compared to Pre-COVID Levels
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2020: Nonprofit Employment Recovery Slowed Significantly in September, Still Down By Nearly 8%
- COVID-19 JOBS UPDATE, AUGUST 2020: Nonprofit Jobs Still Down By Nearly 1 Million Despite a Partial Recovery
- The 2020 Nonprofit Employment Report: The 3rd largest employer faces the COVID-19 crisis