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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

December 19, 2006
(410) 516-8541

Employment in U.S. Nonprofits
Outpaces Overall Job Growth

Nonprofit sector employment increases in all regions of the country

Employment in the U.S. nonprofit sector has grown faster than overall employment in 46 of the 50 states, according to a new report by the Nonprofit Employment Data Project at The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

As of the second quarter of 2004, the latest year for which data on nonprofit employment are available, American charities employed 9.4 million paid workers and engaged another 4.7 million full-time equivalent (FTE) volunteer workers for a total workforce of more than 14 million workers.

Between 2002 and 2004, the nonprofit workforce, including paid and volunteer workers, grew by 5.3 percent, with both the paid and volunteer portions of the nonprofit workforce growing by more than 5 percent. By contrast, overall employment in the economy declined by 0.2 percent during this same period.

"The nonprofit workforce, including volunteers, now represents 10.5 percent of the country's total workforce," said Lester M. Salamon, director of the Center for Civil Society Studies within the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies and a leading expert on nonprofits. "Put in perspective, this means that American charities boast a larger workforce than the utility, wholesale trade, and construction industries combined."

Other findings of the report include:

1. The nonprofit share of the total workforce is especially high in the Northeast and Midwest, where it ranges from 10.7 to more than 14 percent. In the South and West, as well, the nonprofit workforce still accounts for a considerable 8.1 to 9.5 percent of the total workforce.

2. Nonprofit-paid workers received $321.6 billion in wages in 2004, more than the wages paid by the utility ($50.1 billion), construction ($276 billion), and wholesale trade ($283.7 billion) industries, and almost as much as the finance and insurance industry ($355.8 billion).

3. Charitable nonprofit employment is scattered across a wide variety of fields, from information and scientific services to religion and civic affairs. The bulk of this employment, however, is in human services, with hospitals alone accounting for one-third of all nonprofit employment, and other health providers, such as clinics and nursing homes, accounting for another 21 percent.

4. The average weekly wage in the nonprofit sector, at $627, was well below the $669 average in the for-profit sector. However, in the fields where nonprofits and for-profits are both actively engaged, average nonprofit wages were actually higher. For example, average wages among nonprofit hospital workers were 7 percent higher than they were among for-profit hospital workers, and average wages among nonprofit social assistance workers were 25 percent higher than their for-profit counterparts.

To view the entire report, including a state-by-state breakdown of nonprofit employment, visit www.jhu.edu/ccss/research/bulletins.htm.

The private nonprofit sector comprises private universities, schools, hospitals, clinics, day care centers, social service providers, symphonies, museums, art galleries, theaters, environmental organizations and many others eligible for tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Nonprofit Employment Data Project at The Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies seeks to quantify the size and scope of nonprofit employment in states throughout the U.S. The data in this report draw on the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, assembled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and on the special tabulation on voluntary work conducted as part of the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.

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