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Health care and social assistance had highest nonprofit employment in 2012

October 29, 2014

The Bureau of Labor Statistics developed research data on employment, wages, and establishment figures for nonprofit institutions. Among the private industries for which nonprofit data are available for 2012, health care and social assistance had the highest annual average employment (7.7 million) and the highest average number of establishments (127,000). Annual wages were the highest among those working in the finance and insurance industry ($77,144).

Nonprofit private industry establishments, employment, and wages, selected industries, 2012 annual averages
Industry Annual average employment Annual wages per employee Average establishments

Total private

11,426,870 46,568 267,855


1,788 30,656 238


8,526 42,624 829


6,266 32,480 199

Wholesale trade

3,720 43,873 680

Retail trade

69,768 20,617 4,800

Transportation and warehousing

18,393 30,632 860


63,351 45,572 4,202

Finance and insurance

27,849 77,144 1,108

Real estate and rental leasing

35,825 32,235 3,676

Professional, scientific, and technical services

251,288 71,221 10,530

Management of companies and enterprises

219,506 61,031 4,117

Administrative and support, and waste management

77,766 45,509 3,988

Educational services

1,812,270 48,458 28,236

Health care and social assistance

7,716,964 47,324 126,796

Arts, entertainment, and recreation

289,111 28,106 13,500

Accommodation and food services

33,637 19,214 1,676

Other services

784,675 33,257 59,071

Note: Data for agriculture, mining, and unclassified industries do not meet BLS disclosure standards.

In 2012, the educational services industry had the second-highest annual average nonprofit employment at 1.8 million, followed by other services. The other services industry includes religious, grantmaking, civic, and professional organizations, which accounted for the majority of that industry's nonprofit employment (785,000) and had the second-highest average number of establishments (59,000) among nonprofit organizations. The manufacturing industry had the lowest number of nonprofit establishments (199), while the agriculture industry had the lowest employment (1,800).

Employees in the professional, scientific, and technical services industry had the second-highest annual wages ($71,221) in 2012, followed by those in the management of companies and enterprises industry. Those who worked in the accommodation and food services industry earned the least per year ($19,200).

These data come from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. For more information about employment in the nonprofit industry, see "Research Data on the Nonprofit Sector." For more detailed 2012 nonprofit establishment, employment, and wage data, access National Nonprofit Private Industry Establishment, Employment, and Wages by 2-digit and 3-digit North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS), 2012 annual averages [XLSX]. These data focus only on nonprofit organizations in the 501(c)3 classification.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Health care and social assistance had highest nonprofit employment in 2012 at (visited March 03, 2024).

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