This will be the year of for-profit enterprise?

Over the past 10-20 years I have noticed an increasing percentage of young people seeking to spend their careers in non-profit enterprises, e.g., universities or public radio stations. Americans also now seek government jobs as avidly as 15th century Chinese did.  Now that the tax code has been revised to make starting and operating a business more financially rewarding, I wonder if 2018 will be a year in which more Americans become interested in the (formerly?) dwindling for-profit sector of the economy?

Readers: What do you think? If for-profit corporations get to keep more of their profits, will that enable them to compete more effectively with non-profits for the next generation of workers?

5 Comments

  1. Neal

    January 2, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

    1

    Have you found any actual data indicating that for profit employment has gone over the past 10-20 years? The data I found indicated that such employment has been pretty steady as a fraction of total employment over that time period. Perhaps there has been a small (1% of total employment) shift from government to non-profit employment over the past 10-20 years.

  2. philg

    January 3, 2018 @ 10:15 am

    2

    A casual Google search seems to confirm my anecdotal information. See

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/business/for-nonprofits-a-bigger-share-of-the-economy.html?_r=0

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2016/article/nonprofits-in-america.htm (“Nonprofit employment, total annual wages, and the number of establishments grew steadily each year from 2007 through 2012. Over this period, nonprofit employment increased 8.5 percent, from 10.5 million jobs to 11.4 million jobs. Nonprofit employment increased every year during the 2007–12 review period, even during the 2007–09 recession. “)

    https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20141021.htm

    shows that there is a lot of variation. Nevadans and Texans are much less likely to work for a non-profit than someone in Massachusetts, New York, or D.C.

    See also https://www.minneapolisfed.org/publications/fedgazette/the-recession-good-for-nonprofit-employment : “But nonprofit employment actually grew during and after the recession, in stark contrast to total private employment, according to newly available data on the sector from the Bureau of Labor Statistics”

  3. Neal

    January 3, 2018 @ 11:46 am

    3

    philg: Yes, nonprofit employment has gone up by about 1% of total employment. Explain why that small change is significant for the much larger for profit employment market especially since it has come from reduced government employment and not from for profit employment.

  4. philg

    January 3, 2018 @ 1:16 pm

    4

    1% of U.S. workers shifting to non-profit orgs over a 5-year period is a pretty rapid pace in an otherwise fairly stagnant economy!

  5. Neal

    January 3, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

    5

    philg: Otherwise fairly stagnant economy? Over the same time period 1.5% of workers “shifted” out manufacturing.

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