Scope of the Arizona Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit employment

The nonprofit sector is a major employer in Arizona. Nonprofits employ 6.9 percent of the workers in the state, a total of 222,380 workers, as shown on the chart below.

Chart 2 shows the number of employees in the nonprofit sector as compared to major industries in Arizona. Hiring nearly as many workers as the manufacturing industry, nonprofit organizations combined represent the seventh largest job engine in Arizona. By annual wages, it's the sixth largest.

Within major industries in Arizona, nonprofit organizations also provide a relevant share of total employment. Chart 3 shows that nearly 24 percent of organizations in the Health Care industry belong to the nonprofit sectors. For Social Assistance, it's nearly 30 percent.

Note that nonprofit institutions are not an industry, but a group of organizations making up a sector. The charts below highlights the importance of the nonprofit sector vs. major industries (e.g., retail trade, manufacturing). For Chart 2, employment data in nonprofits has been removed from the selected industries and has been grouped together under a category named 'nonprofit.' On the other hand, Chart 3 shows the share of nonprofits in top selected industries, in this case not removing nonprofits from the corresponding industries, for illustration purposes.

A growing sector

The nonprofit sector continues to demonstrate its contribution to the economy in Arizona.

As shown on the chart below, the number of workers employed by nonprofits has increased by 39 percent since 2010, outpacing the for-profit and government sectors.

During the first pandemic year, 2020, nonprofit and government jobs spiked in response to the crisis, while for-profit employment dipped.

Employment by gender

Women comprise a much larger portion of the nonprofit workforce than in the for-profit sector. Although 43 percent of the total Arizona workforce is female, the nonprofit sector is 63 percent female. Broken out by nonprofit subsectors, 57 percent of the "core" nonprofit workforce is female. The healthcare and education subsectors show 72 and 67 percent female employment. This may be an effect of the historic pattern of nursing and teaching being common professions for women. On the other hand, religious nonprofits employed just 33 percent females. This may reflect the traditional preference for male clergy in many denominations.

Females in the nonprofit subsector do better than males in comparison to the bulk of the workforce, with 70 percent of women in nonprofits earning at least as much as their peers in the for-profit sector compared to 56 percent of men. The healthcare subsector shows 60 percent of women earning more than they would in the for-profit sector while 33 percent of men out-earned their peers. Overall, 81 percent of the women working in nonprofit healthcare earned as much or more than their peers outside of the nonprofit sector. In the core nonprofit sector, 62 percent of females earned at least as much as their peers outside of the nonprofit world.