Indiana Nonprofits Project Nonprofit Employment: Statewide Series, Report #14
Nonprofit Paid Employment in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation Report, Indiana 1995-2019

September 2021

A joint product of The O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy

Prepared by
Kirsten A. Grønbjerg, Project Director
Anjali Bhatt, Kelley School of Business at Indiana University


  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation (AER) employment in Indiana grew 81 percent over the 1995-2019 period. In 2019, almost 45,000 workers were employed in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry in Indiana, up from just under 25,000 in 1995. By comparison, Indiana’s total paid employment increased by 13 percent, from 2.7 million in 1995 to 3.1 million in 2019.
  • Nonprofit AER employment grew much slower than total AER employment, up only 14 percent from 1995 to 2019, adding 800 employees from 6,000 in 1995 to 6,900 in 2019. By 2019, nonprofits employed 15 percent of all paid employees in the AER industry, down from 25 percent in 1995.
  • Nonprofit employment in AER grew at an average annual rate of 0.6 percent between 1995 and 2019 and increased for 15 of the 25 years between 1995-2019. Most of the loss in nonprofit employment occurred between 2004 and 2014.
  • For-profit employment in AER grew at a notably faster annual rate — 3 percent between 1995 and 2019, and government employment increased at an average annual rate of 1 percent. Like nonprofit employment, for-profit employment declined during the 2004 to 2014 period.
  • Nonprofit payroll for AER grew just below twice the rate of employment at 26 percent up from $149 million in 1995 to $188 million in 2019 (in constant 2019 dollars). Nonprofit payroll in AER has increased for 15 years since 1995 (by an average of 1 percent per year). For 16 of the 25 years, annual growth was less than 2 percent.
  • Each of the three AER subindustries show distinct patterns of nonprofit paid employment between 1995-2019. The amusement subindustry accounts for most nonprofit jobs in the AER industry even though the nonprofit share of total employment is low in this subindustry. The museums and similar institutions subindustry employ fewer nonprofit workers, but they dominate the industry. The performing arts and related industries subindustry have relatively few nonprofit employees. Each of the three subindustries have minor subindustries with distinctive patterns.

Nonprofit Paid Employment in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation, Indiana 1995-2019, Nonprofit Employment Series, Industry Series, Report 14, by Kirsten A. Grønbjerg and Anjali Bhatt. (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs), July 2021.

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