June 13, 2010; Source: MLive.com | This is one of those items that you have to read twice because at first glance you’re sure you got the headline jumbled. But, upon second reading it turns out to be true: unlike private industry, nonprofit employment in Michigan grew between 2006 and 2009, up some 11,500 jobs.

The findings were from a study conducted for the Michigan Nonprofit Association by Public Sector Consultants. “In an environment where Michigan’s nonprofits continue to see an increase in demand for services while experiencing a decrease in financial and in-kind support, this study demonstrates that nonprofits have the ability to adapt throughout worsening economic conditions,” said Kyle Caldwell, the association’s president and CEO.

More than just an increase in jobs, wages also climbed during the three-year period. According to the study, pay jumped 15 percent. A statement from the association, attributed the dollar gains to “the continued professionalism of the nonprofit sector, the increase in educational opportunities focused on nonprofit management and sector-specific fields, and the necessity of higher wages to attract a qualified workforce.”

Caldwell warns that—at least in this case—the past isn’t prologue, and that employment increases in the nonprofit sector are not likely to continue. He said for that to happen, more support is needed.—Bruce Trachtenberg