Nonprofit Workers In N.Y. Getting Bigger Raises

Growth in New York State’s nonprofit sector didn’t keep pace with the nation overall since the Great Recession but average wages grew faster than in other sectors during the recovery.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a report comprised of the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, made available for the first time last year.

New York’s nonprofit sector is the largest in the nation, with more than 31,000 organizations employing almost 1.3 million people. Nonprofit jobs account for more than 18 percent of all private sector employment in the Empire State.

The number of nonprofits in the Empire State increased at an annual average rate of almost 2 percent from 2007 to 2012, compared with 0.8 percent for the state’s private sector. During the same period, the number of nonprofits nationwide grew by an average of almost 3 percent each year while the private sector grew at about 0.3 percent annually.

Average wages in the nonprofit sector increased by about 16 percent from 2007 to 2012, faster than the 13 percent in the public sector and 3 percent in the rest of the private sector. New York nonprofits ranked first in the nation in total wages paid in 2012, at $62 billion, compared with $532 billion nationwide.

“This report shows nonprofits have a significant impact on our economy through the number of jobs they provide and the wages they pay,” DiNapoli said in a press release announcing the report. “Given the ongoing challenges facing many nonprofits in New York, it’s important that we develop a better understanding of this key sector of our economy that delivers vital services.”

While employment growth in the nonprofit sector slowed during the recession, organizations continued to add jobs while the rest of the private sector and public sector lost jobs overall. Nonprofits maintained a steady level of job creation of about 0.7 to 0.9 percent annually from 2010 through 2012. Employment growth accelerated in the rest of the private sector as public employment continued to decline during the same period.

The overall average annual wage of $47,700 for nonprofits in New York ranked 12th in the nation and was 2.4 percent higher than the national average for nonprofits. The wage difference between nonprofit employees and other private sector employees in New York is exacerbated by the prevalence of high-wage jobs in the finance and insurance industry. Those jobs drive the overall private sector average up by more than $10,000.

The health care and social assistance industry constitutes almost half of all nonprofits in New York and is the largest employer among nonprofits, with 12,870 organizations and 804,457 employees. “Other services,” which includes religious, civic and social advocacy groups ranks second in the number of organizations (9,524) and third in employees (100,390). The two categories accounted for more than two-thirds of nonprofits nationwide and almost three-quarters of those in New York.

Education services, including private colleges and universities, ranked third with 2,946 nonprofits in New York and second for employment (254,716), but paid the highest average wage among the top five categories, at $53,377.