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Employment in higher ed. grows at fastest pace in 3 years

The number of jobs in higher education increased 1.25 percent in Q4 2015, or about 24,100 jobs, which was the largest increase in jobs for the sector in three years, regardless of quarter. For the year, higher education jobs were up 0.55 percent in 2015, nearly identical to the 0.58 percent growth in 2014.

Drilling down deeper, HigherEdJobs’ analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data found that four-year colleges and universities gained 29,400 jobs, or 1.6 percent, while community colleges lost 5,300 jobs, or 4.0 percent of their workforce. On an annual basis, higher education netted an additional 9,800 jobs, or 0.6 percent in 2015, which was only incrementally less than the growth of 10,200 jobs in 2014.

The report from HigherEdJobs also looks at trends in advertisements for job postings in academia. It found that the number of advertisements for all types of jobs in academia increased 19.9 percent in Q4 2015, the biggest fourth quarter increase in at least four years. In addition, the number of full-time faculty job postings grew 6.1 percent, while job postings for full-time administrative and executive positions increased 25.4 percent.

“After several years of declining job growth followed by a stagnant period, it appears that academia – at least at four-year institutions – is beginning to add both faculty as well as administrative and executive positions,” said John Ikenberry, president of HigherEdJobs.

The report analyzes the most current data from BLS and HigherEdJobs’ posting trends from colleges and universities that have continuously subscribed to the company’s unlimited posting plan for four years, a group of more than 850 schools that have no financial deterrent not to post any openings. The full report can be viewed at