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NPO Job Openings (July 2012)

August 23, 2012

It’s been three weeks since the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the July job numbers, and the muted optimism that greeted news of a modest uptick in nonfarm payrolls seems to have dissipated as the presidential campaign has turned relentlessly negative.

According to the BLS, total nonfarm employment rose by 163,000 in July -- an increase of 99,000 from the 64,000 jobs added in June and significantly better than the 96,000 jobs added in July 2011. While the unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.3 percent (12.8 million people) -- a fact Republicans are likely to beat like a drum at their convention -- the average number of jobs added on a monthly basis rose above 151,000 for the first time in 2012.


(Chart courtesy CNNMoney)

When we look at the number of jobs submitted to the PND job board -- something we do periodically here at PND -- tells a slightly different story, with job postings down on a month-over-month (12.4 percent) and year-over-year (15 percent) basis. Indeed, the 310 jobs posted to the board in July represent the lowest monthly total to date in 2012, while postings to the board overall have declined 3.7 percent compared to the same seven-month period in 2011 -- anecdotal evidence of a sluggish, if not slowing, economy.


One bright spot in the employment picture is Florida, which, as the Conference Board recently noted, led the nation in online job postings in July with an almost 13 percent month-over-month increase. Indeed, here at PND, Florida -- more so than any other Southern state -- has emerged as a bright spot in a rather drab employment picture, with plentiful nonprofit job openings in areas such as the arts, education, medical research, and human services.

Still, despite the good news from the Sunshine State and the better-than-expected jobs report, the economic outlook over the next six months is anything but clear. Will the technocrats in Brussels manage to hold the Eurozone together and keep the continent from sliding further into recession? Will the administration and the do-nothing 112th Congress address the so-called "fiscal cliff" before the election in November, or leave the tough decisions on spending and taxes to a new Congress and administration? Will the Federal Reserve introduce a third round of quantitative easing or sit tight as the economy chugs along at a 2 percent growth rate? Only time will tell.

For what it's worth, we're optimistic that, as it has been every year since 2009, August will again be a good month for postings to the PND job board, with  "bread and butter" areas like development/fundraising, technology, and human services leading the way. And, of course, we’ll be back in a few months with a followup report.

-- Lauren Brathwaite

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