January 22, 2020
Nonprofits Comprise Nearly Half of the State’s Largest Employers

April 17, 2010 — Twenty-four of the 50 largest employers in Massachusetts are nonprofit organizations, according to the latest ranking compiled by the Boston Business Journal, underscoring the importance of the sector to the state.

Fifteen of the 24 nonprofits are healthcareinstitutions, while the remaining nine are colleges and universities, according to the listing published this week.

All but three— Southcoast Health System in New Bedford, UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester and University of Massachusetts Amherst—are based in the greater Boston area.

Total employment dropped 1.7% this year for the 19 nonprofits that reported numbers for both 2010 and 2009. Those organizations said they currently employ 136,607 people. However, 10 of the 19 reported a gain in employment.

The nonprofit sector as a whole is believed to employ about 14% of the state's workforce.

Northeastern University experienced the greatest gain in employment, up 10.5% from 4,288 in 2009 to 4,790 today.

Southcoast Health System reported the biggest drop in staff, down 24.8% from last year’s 6,644 to its current level of 5,325 employees.

Massachusetts General Hospital is the largest nonprofit employer, having employed 21,400 last year. It did not provide current numbers. The next biggest employer is Harvard University with 17,489 employees this year.

Suffolk University bottomed out the list with 1,580 employees in 2010.

Four educational institutions reported declines in employment. They included Massachusetts Institute of Technology (dropping 6.1%), Tufts University (down 4.1%), Harvard University (down 3.2%), and UMass Amherst (down 0.6%).

In addition to Northeaster University, Boston College registered a gain in employees of 3.2%, as did Boston University, which posted a 0.7% increase.

UMass Boston and Suffolk University both reported current employment numbers, but did not provide figures for 2009.

Seven of the healthcare institutions reported gains in employment in 2010. They are Cambridge Health Alliance (up 7.0%), Lahey Clinic (up 2.8%), Tufts Medical Center (up 2.5%), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (up 2.4%), Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates (up 2.2%), UMass Memorial Health Care (up 2.2%), and Children's Hospital Boston (up 1.0%).

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