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Report: Indiana Nonprofits Grew While Other Sectors Shrank

The report, a joint study from various schools within Indiana University, was released Monday, Dec. 10, 2012.

Even as Indiana lost jobs overall, the nonprofit sector grew according to a new report.

The report was a joint effort from several schools at Indiana University and looked at jobs numbers between 1995 and 2009. While this report focused mostly on the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, lead author Kirsten Gronbjerg at IU‘s School of Public and Environmental Affairs says nonprofit jobs and wages have also grown in education and social assistance, even as the overall number of jobs in the state declined during that time period.

“[Nonprofits] are better able to draw on volunteers to keep their doors open to continue to deliver services, even when they are pressed for revenues,” she says.

More jobs have actually been created in the for-profit arts and entertainment areas according to the report, but Gronbjerg says it appears much of that growth in Indiana has come in the gambling industry thanks to the land-based and riverboat casinos.

“For-profits dominate the gambling at the national level, and we believe that‘s the case also in Indiana,” she says.

Without those, the report says growth in the for-profit arts and entertainment industries would have been closer to the 8.5 percent growth in non-profit arts and entertainment jobs over the 15-year period.

Gronbjerg says the changing nature of the state‘s economy, from a manufacturing-based labor force to one more focused on service industries, helps explain the numbers. Even while Indiana‘s overall workforce shrank by 6 percent during the 2008-2009 recession, employment in arts, entertainment and recreation remained stable.

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