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Value of volunteering grows

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An hour of volunteering was worth $21.79 in 2011, up 43 cents from 2010, a new estimate says.

The estimate by Independent Sector is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and non-supervisory works on private non-farm payrolls, as determined by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Independent Sector increases that number by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.

Roughly 62.8 million Americans, or 26.3 percent of the adult population, donated 8.1 billion hours of volunteer services worth $173 billion in 2010, the most recent year for which data are available.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, nonprofits employ about 12.9 million workers, or nearly 10 percent of the U.S. work force, and account for about 5.2 percent of gross domestic product, Independent Sector says.

An hour of volunteer time was worth the most in Washington, D.C., at $33.61, and the least in Puerto Rico, at $11.41.

In North Carolina, volunteering was worth at $18.80 an hour.

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