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Nonprofits booming in North Carolina

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The nonprofit marketplace is big business in North Carolina, and growing fast.

Nonprofit jobs grew 35.4 percent to just over 212,800 from 1995 to 2003, accounting for just over one-fourth of overall job growth and for 6 percent of North Carolina’s workforce, says the first-ever study of nonprofit employment in the state.

Nonprofits’ impact on the state’s economy totaled $25.8 billion in 2005, up from $11.9 billion in 1995, says the study, released by the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

“Economic developers tout our quality of life, and nonprofits play a vital role in creating this quality of life,” Jane Kendall, president of the N.C. Center, says in a statement.

Conducted by the Center for Civil Society Studies at Johns Hopkins University, the study also includes IRS data analyzed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics at The Urban Institute in Washington, D.C.

Wages paid to nonprofit employees in the state totaled nearly $6.6 billion in 2003, or 5.5 percent of the payroll for all North Carolina workers, the study says.

Nonprofit jobs eclipsed those in the state’s construction industry, with 210,900; banking, finance, insurance and real estate combined, with 137,800; transportation, with 77,000; information, 75,100; and utilities, 14,200.

Nonprofit jobs grew 4.4 percent a year, on average, from 1995 to 2003, six times the rate at which jobs grew in the business sector.

Average weekly wages for nonprofit workers in the state totaled $593, or 4 percent below those of workers in business and local government, and 11 percent below those of workers in state government.

Nonprofit weekly wages ranged from $391 at social-assistance nonprofits to $710 at hospitals.

Health services accounted for 54 percent of nonprofit jobs, compared to 18 percent for educational services; 10 percent for social assistance; 9 percent for membership, civic and advocacy groups; 3 percent for professional, scientific and technical services; and 2 percent for arts and recreation.

The state’s Piedmont region is home to over 151,800 jobs, including 35,800 in the Charlotte area, nearly 53,700 in the Triad, 7,600 in the Southern Piedmont, and 54,700 in the Triangle.

Eastern North Carolina is home to nearly 26,800 jobs, including nearly 3,300 in Northeastern North Carolina, nearly 9,800 in the central area of Eastern North Carolina, and 13,700 in Southeastern North Carolina.

Western North Carolina is home to over 31,600 jobs, including nearly 9,500 in Northwestern North Carolina and over 22,100 in Southwestern North Carolina.

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