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The Big Picture - Not for Profit Institutions

18 December 2002 at 12:12 pm
Staff Reporter
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided another snapshot of the Third Sector. Its latest figures show that Not for Profit Institutions (NPI) contributed $21 billion or 3.3% to Australia's GDP in 1999-2000.

Staff Reporter | 18 December 2002 at 12:12 pm


The Big Picture - Not for Profit Institutions
18 December 2002 at 12:12 pm

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided another snapshot of the Third Sector. Its latest figures show that Not for Profit Institutions (NPI) contributed $21 billion or 3.3% to Australia’s GDP in 1999-2000.

When the free services provided to these Institutions by volunteers were valued and included, the contribution rose to $30 billion or 4.7% of GDP. The economic value of volunteer services was estimated to be $8.9 billion.

ABS figures show that NPIs employed 604,000 people or 6.8% of the total employed people in 1999-2000.

Comparatively, the gross value added of NPIs exceeded that of a number of industries including communication services, accommodation, cafes and restaurants and cultural and recreational services.

The ABS says that at 3.4% of total gross value added in 1999-2000, its share was only slightly less than that of agriculture, forestry and fishing (3.5%).

However, if the economic value of volunteering is also included, the share of GDP (4.9%) was greater than mining (4.6%).

The types of Not for Profit Institutions activities that contributed to total gross value added were education and research (32%), culture and recreation (22%), social services (17%), health (15%), business and professional associations and unions (3%) and all other non-profit institutions (11%).

Volunteers made an important contribution to NPI. In 1999-2000, volunteers contributed 558 million hours to Not for Profit Institutions, equating to 285,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Figures show that 4.4 million Australians over the age of 18 participated in some form of volunteer work with NPI or government organisations during 1999-2000. The number of volunteer involvements is greater than the number of volunteers, as some individuals are involved with a number of the same or different types of organisations. There were 6.5 million involvements in 1999-2000. Of this, 5.1 million involvements were estimated to be with non-government NPIs.

The social services activity accounted for the greatest number of volunteer involvements with NPIs (29%). This was followed by culture and recreation NPIs (26%), and ‘other’ NPIs (22%).

Of full-time equivalent persons in volunteer work, 54% were female. Males contributed more volunteer labour to culture and recreation and business and professional associations and unions than females.

The number of hours worked and average hourly ordinary time earnings in selected occupations in each sector have been used to impute the value of volunteer work with NPIs. In 1999-2000 the value of imputed volunteer wages was $8.9 billion. This substantially increases the output and gross value added of NPIs compared with that conventionally measured in the national accounts. As a percentage of NPI adjusted industry gross value added, volunteer services contributed 53% to ‘other’ NPIs and 45% to social services.

With volunteering services included, education and research NPIs made the largest contribution to NPI adjusted gross value added (25%), followed by culture and recreation (23%) and social services (22%). Excluding volunteering services, education and research NPIs generated 31% of NPI gross value added, whilst culture and recreation NPIs contributed 22%.

The ABS says that although NPIs are not an industry (they are institutional units) the contribution of NPIs to the economy can be compared against traditional industries as a point of reference.

The NPI contribution of 3.4% to gross value added in 1999-2000 is greater than the contribution made by the communications; electricity, gas and water; accommodation, cafes and restaurants; personal and other services; and cultural and recreational services industries. NPI gross value added is only slightly less than agriculture, forestry and fishing (3.5%).

NPIs employed 604 000 people in 1999-2000, representing 6.8% of total employed persons in Australia. The social services sector was the highest employer representing 26% of the total, followed by education and research which employed 24% of total NPI employees.

If you would like an electronic extract from the ABS figures just send us an e-mail before December 20th to

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