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Nonprofit employment up

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Across the U.S., job growth in the nonprofit sector remains strong, even outpacing the overall economy, a new study says.

From 2002 to 2004, the nonprofit workforce, which includes both paid and volunteer staff, grew 5.3 percent, compared to a drop in employment of 0.2 percent for the overall economy.

As of the second quarter of 2004, 9.4 million people earned paychecks for their work in the nonprofit sector, while the equivalent of an additional 4.7 full-time workers volunteered their time, says the study, conducted by the Nonprofit Employment Data Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.

More than one in 10 U.S. workers, including volunteers, now work in the sector, and those who are paid earned $321.6 billion in 2004, an amount greater than the combined totals of workers in the utility, construction and wholesale-trade industries.

On average, nonprofit workers earned $627 a week, the study says, less than the $669 for for-profit employees.

However, for organizations like hospitals, where nonprofit and for-profit providers co-exist, wages of nonprofit employees are higher, the study says.

The majority of nonprofit employees work in human-services fields, with one in three serving hospitals, and more than two in 10 working in other health-related organizations.

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