Research Data on the Nonprofit Sector
UPDATE: Research data on employment and wages for the nonprofit sector for 2017 are now available by firm size. These data are available in the table below.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has updated research data on employment and wages for the nonprofit sector for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. These figures provide insight into this important segment of the U.S. economy. Data for 2016 were released in August of 2018 and made possible through the support of the Johns Hopkins University and its Center for Civil Society Studies with grant funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
The 2013-2017 data have been expanded to include finer geographic and industrial detail.
The format of the data files have been updated in an effort to deliver the data in a more convenient and efficient manner.
Nonprofit Data Files
Comments on these data and underlying methodology can be submitted to the Business Employment Dynamics (BED) information line.
BLS continues to receive requests for cross-sections of the nonprofit sector. In the past, researchers have developed such measures using the BLS Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) for this work. In 2014 BLS released annual averages for the nonprofit sector as a research series for 2007 through 2012. The 2016 update was made possible with the support of the Johns Hopkins University and its Center for Civil Society Studies with grant funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will this be a regularly produced data product?
When will the next updated version of these data be released?
What about other nonprofit classifications (e.g. 501(c)(4))?
Where can I find the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nonprofit datasets?
Who can I contact if I have questions about the data?
This project is limited to measuring the number of private sector establishments, employment, and wages for a portion of the nonprofit sector known as 501(c)(3)s. While there are other nonprofit classifications, such as 501(c)(4), this research series highlights employment and wages under the 501(c)(3) classification.
The development of these research series utilizes two existing data sources: the QCEW and IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File.
These research data were created using a two-step process that is described below. Each step included a quality control review.
Step 1: Employer Identification Number Match between the QCEW and the EOBMF
First, the EOBMF was restricted to include only those records identified as 501(c)(3)s. The match was then initiated by comparing that subset of IRS nonprofit EINs to the QCEW database. When a match was obtained, all private sector establishments associated with the matched EIN were placed into a preliminary ?nonprofit dataset.? Only active establishments were retained; any establishment identified as pending or inactive was removed.
QCEW staff then examined all matched records looking for anomalies and outliers. Staff compared a business?s name, address and functionality between the IRS and QCEW datasets. When necessary, and where available, staff reviewed an organization?s website to obtain further information to assist with matching the two datasets and minimize instances of false-matches.
State Workforce Agency staff then reviewed a portion of the IRS-QCEW matched record file. Any record identified as an incorrect match was added to the false match dataset and removed from the tabulations. Ongoing matching will utilize the false match dataset for future exclusion.
Note: False matches may occur for a variety of reasons. It is well-known that businesses can have several or many EINs and may use one of the EINs for various purposes, not always using the same EINs consistently. Data entry errors may also be a source of false matches.
Step 2: Include Reimbursable Units not on the IRS File
Some of the records matched in the first step from the IRS dataset to the QCEW were reimbursables. However, for various reasons, not all reimbursable organizations file with the IRS and, as a result, are not listed on the EOBMF.
To include these missing organizations, all active private sector establishments in the QCEW database with a reimbursable flag were placed in a separate file. Records already matched in Step 1 were removed. The resulting file consisted of non-matched reimbursables. Establishments located in states that already confirmed that a reimbursable flag exclusively designated a 501(c)(3) organization were retained as in-scope nonprofits. QCEW sent the remaining reimbursables to the respective states whose reimbursable flag could include other nonprofits (such as 501(c)(4)s) for adjudication. State staff reviewed these establishments and made the determination (based on establishment names, addresses and other information) whether each business should be included as a 501(c)(3) or excluded.
Data Elements Available
Nonprofit data for 2013-2017 are available at the national total private, NAICS 2-digit and 3-digit industry level as well as select 4-digit level. State level data are available at the total private, NAICS 2-digit level, and select 3 and 4-digit industry levels, and totals and select industries at selected levels for counties where BLS nondisclosure requirements are satisfied. Annual figures for 2007 through 2012 are available as research series. Each series is available as an Excel file (below). Each year of data includes the following elements:
These data are the result of a research project and may be updated periodically, as resources permit. They are not an official BLS published series.
Tables for state-level data include Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, these two territories are not included in U.S. Totals.
Prior Year Data Files
National NAICS 2-digit and 3-digit Industry Data
State NAICS 2-digit Industry Data
Last Modified Date: May 14, 2020