Real gross domestic product declines
Real gross domestic product (GDP) of non-profit institutions edged down 0.3% in the first quarter of 2022, the first quarterly decrease since the second quarter of 2020, when real GDP of non-profits fell 2.5% owing to the widespread shutdowns imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
By contrast, economy-wide real GDP rose 0.8% in the first quarter of 2022, driven primarily by business investment and household spending.
Business and government non-profit institutions lead the decline
Non-profit institutions serving businesses recorded a decline in real GDP of 0.8% in the first quarter of 2022, following a 1.1% increase in the fourth quarter of 2021. Lockdown measures implemented from late December 2021 through January 2022 to slow the spread of the Omicron variant affected this subsector, with many businesses being unable to operate in a normal capacity.
Non-profit institutions serving governments fell 0.6% in the first quarter of 2022, the first quarterly decrease since the pandemic began. Non-profit institutions serving households recorded the only increase among the three subsectors, up 1.2% in the first quarter of 2022.
Employment rises in non-profit institutions
Employment in non-profit institutions rose 0.2% in the first quarter of 2022, led by an increase in the number of jobs in health care and social services. Jobs in health care increased 0.7% in the first quarter of 2022, the sixth consecutive quarterly increase. Compared with the first quarter of 2020, health care recorded the largest increase among all activities, up 6.6%. Hospitals continued to hire more health care workers to compensate for labour shortages and COVID-19 outbreaks.
The number of employees in social services activities rose 1.0% in the first quarter of 2022, following a 1.3% increase in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The employment increases in the first quarter of 2022 were moderated by declines in religion (-2.7%) and culture and recreation (-1.7%) activities. Jobs in religion activities decreased 2.7% in the first quarter of 2022, reflecting closures that affected religious activities and that meant a loss of donations from households. Jobs in non-profit businesses fell, owing to decreased in-person services in January to contain the spread of the Omicron variant.