Considering a Graduate Degree in Nonprofit Work?

Heather Carpenter at the blog Nonprofit Leadership 601 has posted a thorough, highly informative overview of various graduate programs and corresponding degrees that are focused on the nonprofit arena.

The post, Setting the Record Straight About Nonprofit-Focused Graduate Degrees, reviews the type of degree that may be best for your career goals (executive leadership, policy work, direct service) and provides a table of over 50 nonprofit-focused programs across the country. A fantastic resource and a great blog!

Side Effects of Recession Era Unemployment

The Pew Research Center recently published a brief on the impact of long-term unemployment on adults and families. According to their analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median length of time without employment is up to 25.5 weeks – a huge jump from the previous high of 12.3 weeks in 1983. Pew also surveyed adults who lost employment during this recession regarding the toll the experience has had on them, the findings:

  • 46% or respondents unemployed for 6 months or more reported that their lack of employment has strained family relationships
  • 43% report that they have lost contact with old friends
  • 38% claim they have lost self-respect during their period of unemployment

Being laid off can also make you physically ill, or at least, unwell per The New York Times blog.

Locally, the news is bit sunnier as Pittsburgh is, slowly but surely, moving out of the recession according to the latest data compiled and analyzed by Harold D. Miller at Pittsburgh Today. Mr. Miller reports that the number of jobs across the region increased in June 2010 primarily due to private business adding 9,300 jobs – an above average amount of growth.  However, this good news is tempered by the anticipated layoffs from the West Penn Allegheny Health System as reported on, and the near stagnant state of the manufacturing sector.

The Impact of the Recession on Americans

A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center gives insight into financial and attitudinal changes among Americans since the recession began in December of 2007. The report, How the Great Recession has Changed Life in America, notes that household wealth dropped by approximately 20% between 2007 and 2009, the most severe decline in that category since World War II.

Other findings include:

  • Over half of the adults in the workforce have experienced unemployment or a reduction in hours or pay
  • Over 60% of adult Americans reported a reduction in spending habits since the recession hit and 31% intend to continue this change in the future
  • Nearly half of homeowners reported a drop in the values of their homes

A copy of the report, including survey methodology, is available through the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographics Trends project web page and here.