New Data on The Number of Organizations, Employment and Wages in the Nonprofit Sector

In an interesting publication from February 2016, The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides real data on a number of key nonprofit sector features including employment, and wages. The report, among other things, offers a look at how nonprofit jobs are distributed geographically and what proportion of the jobs in particular fields are nonprofit.

For long it has been difficult to obtain good macro data on the nonprofit sector, one of the most vibrant and essential segments of the U.S. economy. However, thanks to researchers at the Johns Hopkins University and the Urban Institute working with BLS, we are now beginning to get a greater sense of the economic landscape of the sector. The report concentrates on the period 2007-2012, and some key findings include:

  • Nonprofit employment increased every year during the 2007–12 review period (even during the 2007–09 recession). Over this period, nonprofit employment increased 8.5 percent, from 10.5 million jobs to 11.4 million jobs.
  • Total annual wages (not adjusted for inflation) increased from $421 billion in 2007 to $532 billion in 2012, a nominal increase of 26 percent.
  • The steady growth in employment wages, and number of new organizations stands in contrast to the development taking place in the private sector, with employment declining by 3 percent over the period and nominal wages and the number of establishments growing significantly slower than in the nonprofit sector.

Download Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics