Profiting by not doing so

Minnesota State Roundup

Published January 1, 2008  | January 2008 issue

State officials pay close attention to job growth and the private business sector. By the latest data, they might be interested in a closer look at the nonprofit sector.

According to an annual report by the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits, the sector continues to see exceptionally strong growth. In 2006, for example, the number of nonprofit locations grew by 2.5 percent, and nonprofit employment grew by 3.1 percent. By comparison, total private establishments (which includes nonprofits) grew by 1 percent and private employment by 1.3 percent.

Health care is the big reason behind the growth: It makes up one in four nonprofit organizations and employs two-thirds of nonprofit workers. Still, the nonprofit sector in Minnesota is unique and proportionately larger than in many states. Nationwide, for example, nonprofits employ about 7 percent of paid workers. In Minnesota, that figure is 10 percent and runs higher in certain regions; in 2006, nonprofits employed one of every five workers in southeastern Minnesota.

Ronald A. Wirtz