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Nonprofit Employment Rate Stalls in 2003, Study Reveals

(Sept. 7, 2004) Despite continued strong growth in the nonprofit sector overall for much of this decade, a new study by Washington, DC-based OMB Watch suggests that the sector's expansion may be slowing down.

According to the report, 'Recent Trends in Nonprofit Employment and Earnings: 1990 - 2004,' employment in the nonprofit sector grew only by 0.5 percent, well below the average of 2.4 percent annual growth over the past fifteen years. During that same time period, average overall U.S. employment was 1.3 percent annually.

Along with this drop in employment, the study also indicates that the average number of hours worked per week in 2003 decreased to 29.8. Concurrently, the average hourly nonprofit wage fell by 3.9 percent.

The combination of all of these trends produced a net effect of a reduction of 5.2 percent in the weekly earnings of all nonprofit employees in 2003.

These national trends were also experienced in many states. Of the 23 states for which detailed information is available, 17 saw nonprofit employment growth below the national average, including five (California, Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin) that actually recorded declines in growth.

The complete report (10 pages) is available in PDF format from the OMB Watch website. OMB Watch is a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability and citizen participation in public policy decisions. 

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