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EMPLOYMENT SECTOR AND VOLUNTEERING: The Contribution of Nonprofit and Public Sector Workers to the Volunteer Labor Force


*John Wilson, Department of Sociology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; e-mail:


In capitalist societies, jobs are sorted not only by occupational status, but also by the employment sector in which they are situated. Research has demonstrated that public- and nonprofit-sector workers have more prosocial values than private-sector workers. We used recent data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) Special Supplement on Volunteering to examine sector differences in the likelihood of doing volunteer work and the number of hours volunteered. Regardless of occupation or education, nonprofit-sector employees are the most likely to volunteer and with the most hours, followed by public-sector workers and the self-employed. This finding is robust across most types of volunteer work.