Nonprofits added jobs in Maryland in 2010 as companies cut back

While for-profit companies shed jobs in Maryland last year, nonprofit organizations kept on expanding, according to a new study.

The 1.6 percent growth in nonprofit jobs was smaller than in the recessionary years of 2008 and 2009, according to the Johns Hopkins University's Center for Civil Society Studies. But for-profits shed jobs in Maryland during each of those three years, including a 1.1 percent decline in 2010.

Nonprofits are an employment powerhouse in Maryland. With just over 260,000 employees at the end of last year, they employed more than the real estate, information, transportation, finance and insurance sectors combined. Even local government agencies don't have as many people on staff as nonprofits do, and in Baltimore the sector accounts for a whopping one-third of all private jobs.

But nonprofits aren't growing across the board. Between 2008 and 2010, health-related nonprofits increased employment by 5.5 percent, while groups focusing on arts and entertainment slashed employment by more than 4 percent.

Authors Lester M. Salamon and Stephanie L. Geller noted that "arts organizations are particularly dependent on private philanthropy, which was the source of nonprofit revenue most seriously affected by the recession." Hospitals, meanwhile, received reliable funding from the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, the report said.

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