Higher Education Employment Report
Second Quarter, 2010 / Published August 2010
Higher education employment continues to follow historical sector patterns while overall U.S. employment,
which experienced significant losses throughout 2008 and into 2009, began to recover slightly in the first half
of 2010. From the first half of 2008 (the initial six-month period of the recession) to H1 2010, higher education
employment grew 4.2 percent while the total number of jobs in the U.S. declined 5.6 percent, or about 7.7 million
jobs. Data on job postings in academe, according to HigherEdJobs, suggest colleges and universities are
continuing to fine-tune the manner in which they staff positions to cope with the fluctuating economy.
As of the second quarter of 2010, analyses of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on higher education
employment as well as job posting trends with HigherEdJobs reveal:
Higher education employment continues to Hiring and employment at community colleges
follow historical patterns despite the fall-off in continue to be robust according to trends with
overall U.S. employment during the recession both HigherEdJobs and the U.S. Bureau of
and now early signs of growth during the first Labor Statistics.
half of 2010.
The ratio of part-time to full-time postings in
The number of jobs in higher education higher education may have peaked at the end of
remained relatively stable and followed 2009 to early 2010 and may now be moderating,
historical patterns in Q2 2010. However, the or even declining.
number of advertised job openings, which
dramatically decreased during the recession,
experienced significant growth during the
second quarter and first half of 2010.
Although the ratio of faculty to non-faculty job John Ikenberry, Ph.D.
postings shifted during the recession, it President and Co-Founder
returned to more historical patterns starting in
Q1 2010 and continuing into Q2 2010.
328 Innovation Boulevard, Suite 300
State College, PA 16803
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 1
About HigherEdJobs About this Quarterly Report
HigherEdJobs is the leading source for jobs and The HigherEdJobs Higher Education Employment
career information in academia. The company’s Report, which is published quarterly, provides
website, www.higheredjobs.com, is visited two summary information about employment within the
million times a month by 750,000 unique visitors. higher education community. The goal of the report
During 2009, more than 2,600 colleges and is to help academic leaders and policy makers better
universities posted over 55,000 faculty, appreciate real-time trends we are experiencing with
administrative and executive job postings to employment. Those seeking jobs will appreciate
HigherEdJobs. these same data.
Founded in 1996, HigherEdJobs’ mission is to help As background to some of the statistics we are
higher education candidates and employers reporting here, we define Higher Education
connect with one another to find their dream job, or Employment to include all types of employment at
employee, as quickly as possible with the least four-year colleges and universities, as well as two-
amount of effort. year community colleges and technical schools.
HigherEdJobs is published by Internet Employment Over 1,000 colleges and universities are subscribed
Linkage, Inc. (IEL). IEL is headquartered in State to the HigherEdJobs Unlimited Posting Plan, a
College, PA, and has an accounting and operations relevant point for this report since these schools
office in Oak Park, IL. have no financial deterrent to posting their jobs.
This Higher Education Employment Report was
produced by HigherEdJobs with critical analysis and
expertise provided by Bruce Steinberg
(www.brucesteinberg.net), an independent
employment researcher. Steinberg evaluated
information from our data files at HigherEdJobs as
well as data published by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics (BLS) of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 2
Finding: Higher education employment continues to follow
historical patterns despite the fall-off in overall U.S. employment
during the recession and now early signs of growth during the
first half of 2010.
Higher education employment continues to be
only marginally, if at all, affected by the overall
U.S. economy. In fact, the number of jobs in
higher education has continued to grow during
both the recession and the more recent, albeit
From the first half of 2008 (the initial six-month
period of the recession) to H1 2010, higher
education employment grew 4.2 percent, or about
68,000 jobs, while the total number of U.S. jobs
declined by 5.6 percent, or about 7.7 million jobs.
During June 2010, the number of jobs in higher
education was 2.5 percent higher than June 2009,
which was 2.3 percent higher than June 2008.
Since 2005, June's year-over-year growth has
ranged from 1.5 percent (2006) to 4.8 percent
(2008), a range of only 3.3 percentage points.
In contrast, the year-over-year change in overall
Year-over-year change in June (in percent) U.S. employment for June has ranged from growth
of 1.8 percent in June 2006 to a decline of 4.8
percent in June 2009, a range of 6.6 percentage
employment points, double that of higher education. This is
2010 2.5 -0.2 surprising considering the overall employment
2009 2.3 -4.8 market is approximately 90 times larger than
2008 4.8 -0.3
higher education and, theoretically, should not be
subject to big variations. This would suggest
2007 2.3 1.3
higher education employment, at least for the
2006 1.5 1.8 periods analyzed in this report, is more stable than
2005 4.3 1.6 overall US employment.
The federal government does not define “higher education” per se. The term as used in this report is the combination of two
NAICS (North American Industry Classification System, the program that tracks jobs by sector) sectors: Junior Colleges (NAICS
611200), and Colleges and Universities (NAICS 611300). The data are reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the
U.S. Department of Labor.
The blue line in the chart signifies all jobs in higher education, according to an analysis by HigherEdJobs of Bureau of Labor
Statistics data. Note that the analysis shows a clear decrease in the number of jobs in higher education during the summer
months, a pattern consistent with nine-month employment contracts for many academic employees. The green line signifies all
U.S. jobs across the entire economy. Overall employment has been rescaled to better illustrate the recent decline starting in
Special note: The federal government’s 2010 Census significantly ramped-up in the first half of 2010 to hire approximately
600,000 temporary workers, most of whom were discharged at the end of this period. To control for this substantial inflow and
outflow of employees in the overall job trend line, the number of Census workers in H1 2010 was excluded from the above data.
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 3
Finding: The number of jobs in higher education remained
relatively stable and followed historical patterns in Q2 2010.
However, the number of advertised job openings, which
dramatically decreased during the recession, experienced
significant growth during the second quarter and first half of
2006 2007 2008 2009
While the number of jobs in higher education has A similar trend appears when analyzing the data
remained relatively stable and even continued to on a sequential basis. The number of job postings
grow during the current recession, advertising for in higher education was up 24.2 percent during Q2
open positions in higher education has been more 2010 compared to the previous three-month
volatile. Job postings in academia — as period. During Q2 2009, the sequential increase
manifested by the total number of postings from was only 3.4 percent.
colleges and universities continually subscribed to
HigherEdJobs’ Unlimited Posting Plan — dropped
off at the end of 2008 and remained low Year-over-year change in H1 (in percent)
throughout most of 2009. By the end of 2009, the
HigherEdJobs Higher education
number of open positions in academia began to Year
recover, continuing through the second quarter of
2010 35.8 1.3 -1.5
2009 -35.9 2.9 -4.2
During H1 2009, the number of job postings from 2008 7.3 2.2 0.2
HigherEdJobs' continuing unlimited posting 2007 8.6 1.3 1.3
subscribers, no doubt affected by the recession,
fell 35.9 percent compared to the year before.
Then, during H1 2010, higher education job The purple bars (June data highlighted in red for ease of
postings grew 35.8 percent. In comparison, year-over-year comparisons) in the chart above signify
higher education employment observed year-to- monthly job openings posted to HigherEdJobs by U.S.
year increases of 2.9 percent and 1.3 percent colleges and universities that have continuously subscribed
during the first half of 2009 and 2010, to the company’s unlimited posting plan since at least
respectively. January 1, 2005 (roughly equating to the retail sector’s
reporting of annual changes of “same-store sales”). Since
these schools pay a flat annual fee for unlimited recruitment
advertising on HigherEdJobs, they have no financial
deterrent to discourage them from posting their job
openings. As a result, changes in their postings can be seen
as proxy for hiring trends in higher education.
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 4
Finding: Although the ratio of faculty to non-faculty job postings
shifted during the recession, it returned to more historical
patterns starting in Q1 2010 and continuing into Q2 2010.
The blue bars in the
chart show the monthly
ratio of faculty to non-
faculty job openings
posted to HigherEdJobs.
The red line signifies the
trend line for the same
data. The purple bars
are presented for ease
comparisons of March
The ratio of faculty to non-faculty jobs appears to compared to the year before, it was still higher
follow a cyclical pattern — the ratio declines than pre-recessionary levels. During Q1 2010, 43.6
during the first and second quarters. While the percent of job postings were for faculty positions,
overall average is about 40 percent, it generally less than the 53.7 percent ratio in Q1 2009, but
peaks in the fall semester likely due to higher than the 41.0 percent ratio for Q1 2008. A
departments firming up their hiring plans for the similar trend occurred in Q2 2010; the ratio was
subsequent fall semester, and then drops off 36.0 percent in Q2 2010, less than the 40.3
dramatically early in the calendar year. This percent in Q2 2009, but only slightly greater than
pattern occurred every year from 2005 through the 35.2 percent value in Q2 2008, indicating that
2008. More specifically, in the first half of the the ratio is returning to historic, pre-recessionary
year, the Q1 ratio has historically been in a low-40 levels.
percent range while the Q2 ratio has been in a
mid-30 percent range. The data suggest that as colleges and universities
dealt with financial constraints at the beginning of
However, the trend changed starting in the fourth the recession, they concentrated recruitment
quarter of 2008, and by 2009, the decline in the toward academic faculty positions and away from
ratio of faculty postings normally observed in the administrative and support staff. Starting in Q1
first quarter of a calendar year did not occur. In 2010 and continuing into the second quarter,
fact, the percentage of new faculty positions however, colleges and universities appear to have
added to HigherEdJobs during the first quarter of returned to more historical recruitment and staffing
2009 (53.7 percent) increased 1.4 percentage patterns. This does not imply institutions are now
points to well outside the "normal" range. decreasing academic hiring, but are simply
bringing the staffing ratio of faculty to non-faculty
Although the ratio of faculty to non-faculty back to regular, pre-recessionary, proportions.
postings was down during the first quarter of 2010
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 5
Finding: Hiring and employment at community colleges continue
to be robust according to trends with both HigherEdJobs and the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job postings at community colleges, according to the new, emerging economy. Community colleges
HigherEdJobs, as well as the number of jobs at are often an initial venue and vital link for relatively
community colleges, according to the Bureau of brief, but crucial, training programs and curricula to
Labor Statistics, continued to grow in Q2 2010. retrain and re-educate workers. The increased job
postings at community colleges may be a
Although the percentage of community college job manifestation of the growing demand for the
postings at HigherEdJobs appears to have education and training they provide.
declined slightly (18.0. percent in Q2 2010 from
21.0 percent in Q2 2009), the actual number of
postings at community colleges grew 7.1 percent Note: The green line in the chart above indicates jobs at
sequentially and 30.5 percent year-over-year in Junior Colleges as categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Q2 2010. Statistics despite most two-year institutions having changed
their name to include their designation as a community
As the labor force continues to face persistently college. The red markers indicate second quarter data and
high unemployment rates thus far in 2010, it has are presented for ease of year-over-year comparisons. The
been widely reported recently that the inability for dashed blue line signifies the trend line for community
many unemployed to get a job is at least partially college postings as a percentage of all job postings at
due to a lack of relevant skills and education in HigherEdJobs.
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 6
The ratio of part-time to full-time job postings in
higher education was relatively flat during H1
2010 compared to the year before.
Last year, during H1 2009, the ratio of part-time to
full-time postings in higher education increased
dramatically from 8.7 percent to 12.0 percent
compared to the year before. This year, during
H1 2010, the ratio was essentially the same (12.1
percent), indicating the rate of growth may have
stalled. For the most recent month, June 2010,
the ratio of part-time postings (13.4 percent) was
Finding: The ratio of part-time down compared to June 2009 (14.7 percent),
to full-time postings in higher suggesting the ratio of part-time to full-time
postings in academia may have even peaked.
education may have peaked at
the end of 2009 to early 2010 From the data presented, it appears higher
education institutions responded to financial
and may now be moderating, pressures by relying more on part-time
or even declining, as 2010 employees starting in 2008.
progresses. Before the recession, from 2004 to 2007
(inclusive), HigherEdJobs observed that
approximately 8 percent (varied between 7.9 and
8.4 percent) of its posted jobs were for part-time
positions. Note, this does not necessarily reflect
the overall percentage of full- and part-time
positions within academe; however, changes in
this percentage infer changes in the overall
balance of employment.
Average percentage of part-time postings
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
8.2 8.4 7.9 8.1 9.7 12.2
H1 2004 H1 2005 H1 2006 H1 2007 H1 2008 H1 2009 H12010
7.8 9.0 8.0 7.4 8.7 12.0 12.1
Q2 2010 HIGHER EDUCATION EMPLOYMENT REPORT 7
Higher Education Employment Report
Second Quarter, 2010 / Published August 2010
For more information, contact:
John Ikenberry, Ph.D.
President and Co-Founder
328 Innovation Boulevard, Suite 300
State College, PA 16803
814-861-3080 (ext. 202)