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Nonprofit Employment And Wages Increased In Recent Years

During a period of overall decline, nonprofit employment has risen in areas such as health and education.

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Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University

Kirsten Grønbjerg is a professor at the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She led the research team responsible for the report, which was released jointly by SPEA, the Center on Philanthropy, and the Indiana Business Research Center.

New data from the Indiana Nonprofit Report reveals that between 2005 and 2009, employment rates and wages for Indiana nonprofits increased, despite declines in other sectors of the economy during that time.

According to the report, between 2005 and 2009, nonprofit employment grew by 5.9 percent, while during that same period for-profit employment fell 8.6 percent.  Nonprofit growth was concentrated in the areas of health and education (but that doesn’t include public school teachers, who are considered government employees).

But for nonprofits in the areas of “arts, culture and recreation, social assistance, and membership associations” employment actually decreased.

While this report paints a rosy picture, the data is from 2009, and the recent debt ceiling deal has caused some in the nonprofit world to worry about the mandated cuts in “discretionary spending.”

The mandated cuts would exclude both Medicare and Medicaid. But if the congressional Super Committee fails to agree on budget cuts this fall, $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts would be triggered. These cuts also exempt “most mandatory programs such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, TANF [Temporary Assistance for Need Families, commonly referred to as welfare], and food stamps,” according to an article in Nonprofit Quarterly.

But the $1.2 trillion in cuts have to come from somewhere. A Stateline article says that “everything from education funding to money for affordable housing to early childhood programs such as Head Start would be subject to the cuts at the trigger stage.”

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