A new report on the economic and employment impact of nonprofit organizations in Illinois shows that the sector is, in fact, the fourth largest employer in the state, representing over 517,000 jobs. In producing this report, we also found that the sector’s workforce not only continues to be a significant part of the Illinois economy, but has in fact continued to grow throughout the recession period, outpacing the for-profit sector, 2.5 to 2.3 percent.
Produced through the Center’s Nonprofit Economic Data Project for the Chicago-based Donors Forum and released on October 15th, the Illinois Nonprofit Employment Update provides the latest look at the the nonprofit sector in Illinois, updating data presented in previous NED Bulletins from 2001 and 2005.
These findings are in line with the national data, showing that, overall, the nonprofit sector in the U.S. represents 8.4 percent of all employment, and 10.1 percent of private employment. In fact, at 8.8 percent and 10.7 percent respectively, the the nonprofit sector in Illinois comes in above those national averages.
As detailed in a press release from Donors Forum, these findings emerge at a particularly critical time for nonprofits in Illinois, which are facing pressure on several fronts – including the imposition of new fees in lieu of taxes in Chicago, unpaid bills to human service providers across the state, and proposed state legislation to increase reporting requirements.
To read more about the policy implications of this study and the importance of the nonprofit sector to Illinois’ economic future, check out Donors Forum President & CEO Valerie Lies’ op-ed, “The economic power of not making a profit” in the State Journal-Register.
The report is also available for download from the Donors Forum website here.