Feature Article - June 2013
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2013 State of the Managed Recreation Industry

A Look at What's Happening in Recreation, Sports and Fitness Facilities

By Emily Tipping


Staffing

There has been very little change from 2012 to 2013 in the number of people employed by the survey respondents' organizations. Likewise, there has not been much change in the number of various types of employees.

In 2012, respondents' organizations employed an average of 135.7 people, while in 2013, that average dropped slightly to 132.6. This includes 29.6 full-time workers, 36.7 part-time workers. 35.1 seasonal workers and 29.6 volunteers in 2013.

Public organizations employ the largest number of people overall, with an average of 138. Private nonprofits employ 124.4 on average, and private for-profit organizations employ 123.5 on average. Public organizations employed the largest number of full-time workers, with an average of 32. Private for-profit organizations employed the greatest number of part-time and seasonal workers, with an average of 41.9 and 43.8, respectively. As might be expected, private nonprofit organizations employed the largest number of volunteers, with 37.3, on average.

Looking at staffing by facility type, YMCAs employ the largest number of people overall, with an average of 214.6 staff members. However, the majority of these are either part-time (83.7) or volunteers (73.6). School districts have the highest number of full-time workers, with 64.2 on average. Parks and recreation respondents have the greatest number of seasonal workers, with 54.4 on average. (See Figure 22.)

Looking ahead, a majority of respondents report that they intend to maintain their current staff levels over the next several years. More than three-quarters (78.8 percent) of respondents will not alter the number of people working for their organizations. Some 14.9 percent report that they plan to add more staff, and 6.3 percent will reduce staff. (See Figure 23.)

Among those with plans to add staff, the average number of workers they will be adding is 26.9, with 8.2 volunteers, 7.4 seasonal staff members, 7.2 part-time staff members and 3.8 full-time staff.

Respondents from private for-profit organizations were the most likely to be planning staff additions. Some 20.5 percent of these respondents said they would be adding staff over the next several years. Some 16.3 percent of private nonprofit organizations and just 13.8 percent of public organizations will be adding staff. Public organizations were most likely to indicate they would be reducing staff, though only 7.1 percent reported that they had such plans.

Among those with plans to add staff, public organizations will be adding the largest number, with 30.1 on average, largely driven by an increase in volunteers (10.7) and seasonal workers (8.8 on average). They were followed by private for-profit organizations, which will add 25.5 workers on average, and private nonprofits, which will add 18.6.

Looking at the same data according to facility type, YMCAs are the most likely to be planning to staff up, with 18.5 percent of YMCA respondents indicating they would be adding staff. They were followed by colleges and universities, where 16.9 percent said they'd be adding staff, and community centers, where 16.7 percent will be adding staff. Schools and school districts were the most likely to report they would be reducing staff levels, though less than one in 10 (9.5 percent) indicated they had such plans.

A majority of respondents reported that they require certification for some of their staff members. Some 81.6 percent of all respondents do require certification. Among those who do not currently require certification, 18.1 percent indicated that they planned to do so in the future. (See Figure 24.)