Nonprofit sector often overlooked

Regarding Julie Muhlstein’s column on Friday, “Public or private? It’s both”: There is a third sector that wasn’t mentioned that I think often gets overlooked, the nonprofit sector.

We are fortunate to have a vibrant nonprofit sector in Snohomish County making our communities stronger and creating economic growth.

Defying two recessions, the nonprofit sector posted a remarkable 10-year record of job growth, achieving an average annual growth rate of 2.1 percent from 2000 to 2010, while for-profit jobs declined by an average of minus 0.6 percent per year, according to a new Johns Hopkins University report. Other findings from the report include:

The U.S. nonprofit sector employs 15 times more workers than the nation’s mining industry, nearly 10 times more workers than the agriculture industry, and about twice as many workers as the construction industry.

The vast majority of nonprofit jobs are in three service fields — health care (57 percent), education (15 percent), and social assistance (13 percent).

During the 2007-2009 recession, nonprofit employment grew in 45 of the 46 states on which state-specific data were available, while for-profit employment declined in 45.

Nonprofit employment also grew in all regions of the country from 2000 to 2010, with an average annual growth rate that ranged from 1.5 percent in the East South Central region to 3.4 percent in the Mountain region.

We are fortunate to have a vibrant nonprofit sector in Snohomish County making our communities stronger and creating economic growth.

Maddy Metzger-Utt, President

Greater Everett Community Foundation

Serving all of Snohomish County