Social Assistance

Key Findings in Nonprofit Social Assistance, 1995-2018:

  • Total Social Assistance employment in Indiana has more than doubled since 1995. In 1995, a little over 27,000 people worked in the Social Assistance industry in Indiana. By 2018, paid employment in the industry had grown to just under 60,000. During the same period of time, total paid employment in Indiana increased by 13 percent (up from 2.7 million in 1995 to 3.1 million in 2018).
  • Nonprofit employment in Social Assistance has grown since 1995, but much more modestly at 52 percent overall. In 2018, just under 29,000 of the roughly 60,000 employees in Social Assistance worked for nonprofit establishments, compared to almost 19,000 out of 27,000 in 1995.
  • Nonprofit employment growth in Social Assistance has slowed since the early 2000s. Until 2004, nonprofit paid employment grew at an average annual rate of 4.6 percent. Since then annual growth has averaged only 0.2 percent per year and has even declined from one year to the next several times.
  • For-profit employment in Social Assistance has grown rapidly since the mid-2000s. Between 1995 and 2004, for-profit employment in Social Assistance grew at an average annual rate of 3.7 percent, but since then has more than doubled its annual growth rate to 7.6 percent annually.
  • Nonprofit Payroll for Social Assistance has fluctuated considerably since 1995. Between 1995 and 2004, total nonprofit payroll in Social Assistance grew from $449 million to $754 million adjusted for inflation1 (2018 dollars), or by an average annual rate of 6 percent. By 2018, total nonprofit payroll had increased only slightly to $758 million, reflecting a period with mostly annual losses between 2005 and 2012, followed by gains since then.
  • Nonprofit paid employment shows distinctly different profiles in the four Social Assistance subindustries over the 1995-2018 period. Nonprofit paid employment has lost market share relative to for-profits in the rapidly growing Individual and Family Services subindustry, maintained its relatively small share in the slowly growing Child Day Care Services, lost some of its dominance in the overall stable Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and increased its strong dominance in the growing Community Food, Housing and Emergency Services subindustries.

Key Findings in Nonprofit Social Assistance, 1995‐2009:

  • Employment in nonprofit social assistance grew faster than overall state employment and the state’s nonprofit sector as a whole.
  • Employees working in nonprofit social assistance establishments tended to have higher annual wages than those working in for‐profits.
  • Even during recessions, nonprofits stayed in business, kept staff levels relatively steady, and even founded new establishments.
  • Nonprofits accounted for the majority of employees in the industry – a higher share than for any other private industry in Indiana – but this share decreased over time, reflecting the growth of the for‐profit sector.
  • For‐profit presence in the industry increased dramatically, due in part to large government contracts with IBM and other corporations. Dramatic increases in for‐profit employment appear partially associated with minor drops in nonprofit employment.