January 15, 2015
In 2011, arts nonprofits in LA County invested $63.3 million in health, retirement and other benefits for their employees. Even as the Great Recession cut revenues for many nonprofit organizations, and the cost of health care premiums rose, nonprofit arts organizations in LA County maintained their commitment to those benefits. This study finds arts nonprofits in LA County may be more likely than employers in other sectors to provide health benefits to their employees. The data analyzed here show that 53 percent of LA County arts nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees pay some portion of their employees' health care, compared to 39 percent of all small employers in California and 35 percent of all small employers nationally. All arts nonprofits with 50 or more employees in LA County invested in health benefits for their employees, comparing favorably with the statewide figure of 95 percent among all employers that size. As the total dollar amount LA County arts nonprofits spent on health insurance rose 58 percent from 2007 to 2011, the share of organizations providing this benefit fell by seven percent. Among a subset of these organizations for which we have all five years of data, their spending on health benefits increased by nearly 65 percent per full time employee in that time period.The trend is very different for retirement benefits. Only 21 percent of arts nonprofits with paid employees offered them retirement benefits in 2011, well below the rate of 63 percent among all nonprofits in southern and central California. However, the share of arts nonprofits providing retirement benefits rose between 2007 and 2011, while that figure fell for all nonprofits in the region.