News and Information about the nonprofit sector in Massachusetts. Check back frequently to keep informed.
December 3, 2021
Nonprofit Job Growth Slows, But Full Recovery Is on Track

September 27, 2021 — Nonprofit job growth slowed last month, compared to the prior two months, due, in part, to continued spreading of the Delta variant, most especially for arts and education, entertainment, and recreation organizations, according to recently released numbers.

However, according to the Center for Civil Society Studies (CCSS) at Johns Hopkins University, which released updated figures, the nonprofit sector nationally continues to be consistently trending to a full recovery by next July of all jobs lost due to impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

That prediction could change due to the continuing impacts of the Delta variant, the return to in-person schooling, and the coming colder weather, CCSS warned.

The initial rapid recovery in June, July, and August, 2020, of nonprofit jobs lost across the country, began to stall last September, CCSS said. However, the pace quickened in March, April, and May of this year, followed by a gain of 143,000 jobs in June and July.

August’s much more modest recovery of 42,000 recovered jobs represented a smaller—but still positive—2.6% recovery.

From June 2020 through last month, the sector nationally recovered 65.6% of the estimated 1.64 million jobs lost during the first three months of the pandemic.

The largest August gains were seen in the educational field, which recovered 8.8% of its initial losses during the month, according to the center. Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations regained 3.5% of their initial losses in August 2021; and the arts, entertainment, and recreation field continued its slow but steady recovery, reversing an additional 2.7% of its initial pandemic workforce losses during the month. The workforce in social assistance organizations was little changed in August, while the health care field took a step back in its recovery

While the numbers apply to the nonprofit sector as a whole nationally, similar job trends have been reported in Massachusetts.

Following are estimates of national nonprofit job losses nationally since the pandemic began:

Estimated number of jobs as of February 2020

Estimated nonprofit job losses, August 2021 vs. February 2020

Share of nonprofit job lost, August 2021 vs. February 2020

Arts, entertainment, and recreation




Educational services




Social assistance




Religious, grant making, civic, professional, and similar




Health care




Other fields








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