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September 1984, Vol. 107, No. 9
Trends in employment and earnings
in the philanthropic sector
While small, the philanthropic portion of the nonprofit sector is an important and rapidly growing component of the U.S. economy. Philanthropic organizations are those privately controlled, tax-exempt nonprofit institutions to which donor contributions are tax deductible. The classification includes religious, educational, health, scientific, cultural, and social service organizations.1
There has been a tendency on the part of analysts and the media to slight the role of philanthropic activities in the employment of human resources and the creation of personal income in the form of wages and salaries. In part, this is because official sources of economic data are dominated by the for-profit and government sectors. This article attempts to fill the knowledge gap by presenting the results of a systematized estimation and analysis of philanthropic employment and earnings for the period 1972-82.2 The study, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and from the Bureau of Census special 1977 Census of Services for Tax-Exempt Service Organizations, yield point estimates and trend information for both the sector and many of its subsectors. It thus allows one to gauge the relative importance of specific philanthropic activities and to make comparisons among them. And because the structure and classification system of the data base are consistent with those used in other Federal employment and earnings series it was possible to make comparisons with the for-profit and government sectors. The study covered both full- and part-time employees.
This excerpt is from an article published in the September 1984 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on this subject in "Union mergers in the 1980's: a look at the reasons and results," Monthly Labor Review, October 1978, pp. 13-23 and "Union merger pace quickens," Monthly Labor Review, June 1971, pp. 63-70.
2 The American Nurses Association and the Arizona Public Employees Association are examples of national professional and State employee associations.
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