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U.S. Nonprofit Employment Rate Increasing Faster than Business, Government

(June 7, 2004) Between 1997 and 2001, the rate of employment grew faster for the U.S. nonprofit sector than for either business or government, according to a new study by Independent Sector.

The report, Employment in the Nonprofit Sector, found that the growth rate for the sector (2.5 percent) was significantly higher than the rate for business (1.8 percent) and government (1.6 percent) over the same time period.

Employees at nonprofits now represent 9.5 percent - 12.5 million individuals - of all employees in the United States. The total number of employees working in the nonprofit sector has doubled in the last 25 years.

The study also breaks down employment by subsector. Forty-two percent of all nonprofit workers are employed in health services. Education is a distant second at 22 percent. However, it was social service organizations that experienced the largest growth in employment (17 percent) between 1997 and 2001.

The outlook for employment in certain nonprofit subsectors is also quite positive. The study notes recent information reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which estimates that nearly 4 million jobs will be created in the health services and social and human services subsectors between 2000 and 2010. Many of these positions will be seen in nursing, hospital and residential care services.

Overall, the number of workers employed in the nonprofit sector is expected to reach 15 million by the 2010, according to the study.

The entire report (3 pages) is available in PDF format at the Independent Sector website.

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