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.
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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