Business / Education / National

Higher education employment rises in Q1 2017 despite decline in job postings

STATE COLLEGE, Pa., September 15, 2017 — In the first quarter of 2017, the total number of jobs in higher education increased by the largest first quarter amount in five years, according to HigherEdJobs, the leading job and career site for higher education professionals.

According to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data by HigherEdJobs, higher education employment increased 0.6 percent, or roughly 22,100 jobs, during the first quarter. This was the largest first quarter increase since Q1 2012 when it increased by essentially the same amount. Public colleges and universities led the way, increasing by 0.8 percent or about 19,600 jobs. The number of jobs at private institutions also increased, but by only 0.2 percent, or by slightly more than 2,400 jobs. Meanwhile, community colleges lost more than 9,500 jobs, or 1.4 percent, in Q1 2017, the 13th consecutive month of quarterly job losses for this sector.

Despite the overall increase in jobs in higher education, job postings for open positions at colleges and universities were down during the first quarter, decreasing 2.3 percent compared to the year before. This was the second consecutive quarter that postings declined. The decline was driven by decreases in postings for full-time faculty as well as administrative positions and was geographically broad-based. However, a year earlier advertisements for full-time faculty as well as full-time administrative and executive positions both increased by relatively large amounts. After completing a mini “hiring-binge” a year ago, institutions may have less need to advertise for full-time positions now.

The report analyzes the most current data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and HigherEdJobs’ posting trends from roughly 880 colleges and universities that have continuously subscribed to the company’s unlimited posting plan for four years. The full report can be viewed at