Full Recovery of Nonprofit Jobs Expected to Take Two Years
February 21, 2021 — If national trends filter down to the state level, Massachusetts nonprofit jobs lost due to the coronavirus pandemic won’t fully recover for nearly two years, according to a recently completed analysis by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.
Although nonprofit jobs nationally recovered slightly last month, the current pace of job gains means it would take the sector nearly two years to return to its pre-COVID level of employment, according to the center.
The center’s latest analysis, released last week, described what it called “the halting recovery of nonprofit jobs over the past several months.”
After the sector lost 1.64 million jobs last March, April, and May, many were recovered in June, July, and August.
Beginning in September 2020, however, nonprofit employment improvement slowed significantly, the center noted, and in December 2020 it turned into an overall decline of 3.1% in the wake of the worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic.
January saw a return to positive growth, but only marginally, with January’s 5,158 recovered jobs representing just 0.3% of the losses in the first three months of the pandemic.
While numbers were not broken out by state, Massachusetts nonprofits, especially those in the arts and culture sector, have experienced job losses commensurate with national trends.
The bottom line, according to the center, is that “the nonprofit sector still has a long way to go to rebuild its workforce to pre-pandemic levels,” especially in light of the still-uncharted track of the pandemic, uncertainties surrounding vaccine availability and injection, and the increased demands on nonprofits in fields crucial to the recovery of the economy.
“Nonprofits cannot provide services without workers, and without nonprofit services, many in need will go without the help, care, and life-enriching activities that will allow a full, equitable, and robust recovery from the current crisis,” the center noted.