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Summer 2001 Vol. 45, Number 2

Employment change in membership organizations, 1979-99 

OOChart

Employment change in membership organizations, 1979-99

The nonprofit business of promoting group affiliation and goals created about 363,000 new jobs between 1979 and 1999. Employment in membership organizations increased from about 698,000 in 1979 to about 1,061,000 in 1999. That 52-percent rate of growth was faster than the 43-percent increase in nonfarm employment over the same 2-decade period.

As the chart shows, however, the range of job growth varied widely among types of membership organizations. By 1999, employment in religious organizations had increased 177 percent—more than 2˝ times its 1979 level. Job growth in professional organizations nearly doubled, with an increase of 93 percent. Almost half the jobs in membership organizations were in civic and social associations, which showed a 60-percent increase in employment. Political organizations—the group with the fewest jobs—had a 42-percent growth rate, close to that for nonfarm employment. Membership organizations not elsewhere classified (39 percent of membership organization employment) and business associations (33 percent) both were below average in growth, while labor organization employment declined as union membership decreased over the 2 decades.

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U.S. Department of Labor
Bureau of Labor Statistics

Last Updated: September 19, 2001