The sector gained fewer than 18,000 jobs on a month-over-month basis in April, an increase of just 2.2 percent of the nearly 830,000 jobs still lost as of March 2021, compared with an 8.9 percent gain in March. The number of education jobs was down by nearly 14,000, or 5.7 percent of job losses through March, while the number of healthcare jobs was down 0.8 percent. The largest gains were seen in arts, entertainment, and recreation (12.3 percent of the nearly 113,000 job losses as of March) and among religious, grantmaking, civic, and professional organizations (12.3 percent), followed by social assistance (8.8 percent) and other fields (8.5 percent).
While 40.6 percent of the 1.64 million nonprofit jobs lost in the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic were regained in June, July, and August 2020, the rate of recovery slowed significantly in the fall, with only 4.2 percent of initial job losses regained between September and February. And while the sector regained 4.9 percent of those jobs in March 2021, the April data show a recovery of just 1.1 percent, putting the cumulative share of jobs recovered since June 2020 at 50.6 percent.
Based on the average monthly rate of job recovery from July 2020 through April 2021, the center estimates it will take the sector another 17.7 months to reach pre-pandemic levels of employment, with arts, entertainment, and recreation likely to be the slowest to recover (18.3 months), followed by religious, grantmaking, civic, and professional (13.4 months), health care (13.2 months), educational services (9.8 months), other fields (8.2 months), and social assistance (8.1 months).