Credit unions allow members to pursue their dreams. Whether providing financing for a loan or advice on the best way to manage their money, the services and guidance of credit unions are an integral part of any community. But it turns out credit unions do more for members and communities than just what’s listed inside a product pamphlet or on a billboard.
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According to Callahan & Associates’ Peer-to-Peer, credit unions employ more than 238,000 full or part-time employees nationally. That figure has remained stable since fourth quarter 2008. In a time of widespread layoffs and unemployment, this figure in the face of high share and membership growth indicates credit unions are finding ways to navigate the economic quagmire and emerge with efficient, productive organizations that better serve members. The number also illustrates how credit unions have maintained their commitment to staff and local communities despite pressures to improve earnings and cope with unexpected NCUA stabilization expenses.
Credit unions aren’t just becoming more efficient. They are also increasing their contribution to local economies. This year, credit unions are on pace to funnel a record $14 billion back into local economies in the form of employee salary and benefits (the largest single component of credit union operating expense). The range of quality jobs ─ including executive-level positions ─ offered at credit unions strengthens local communities.
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Credit unions are headquartered in towns of all sizes across the country. The jobs they provide enable residents to provide for their families and spend money locally, which supports the community in which they live. And successful credit unions generally stay put; they are not bought-out or relocated.
Credit unions are stepping up their role in supporting their local communities. The phenomenon commonly referred to by economists as the “money multiplier effect” dictates the local contribution credit unions make in the form of salaries will ultimately result in a much larger impact than the initial $14 billion paid out in 2010. Credit unions staff purchases support local businesses, which in turn fuels their ability to support their staff. In some cases, this cycle even creates new jobs.
Employment numbers at credit unions remain relatively flat, but other metrics indicate that the difficult times have generated success. View this slideshow that displays an array of data points showing credit unions are taking in more deposits, giving out more loans, attracting more members, and increasing efficiencies.