The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 28, 2000
February 28, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 24


Study Shows Maryland Nonprofits Employ More People Than Manufacturing

By Glenn Small
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Maryland's nonprofit sector employs more people than all of the state's manufacturing industries and accounted for 25 percent of all job growth in the state over the past decade, leading all other sectors, according to a new study released Feb. 15.

The study was conducted by Lester Salamon, a principal research scientist at the Institute for Policy Studies and an expert on nonprofits, in conjunction with the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

"The nonprofit sector in Maryland not only contributes to the quality of life through the health care, education, job training, day care, culture and advocacy it provides, but it's a major economic force as well," said Salamon, who authored a similar report three years ago. "This sector is massive, dynamic and growing at a faster pace than are for-profit businesses."

Titled "Maryland's Nonprofit Sector: A Major Economic Force" and co-authored by Salamon and Leslie C. Hems, the report is based on the latest data available from the state of Maryland and gives a detailed picture of nonprofit employment in Maryland and the trends in nonprofit employment and payroll over the past decade. The report is the first product of a new Nonprofit Employment Data Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, which Salamon heads. It is available online at pdf. Among the key findings:

Baltimore leads the state in nonprofit employment with 71,000 employees, but two-thirds of nonprofit employment is spread across the rest of the state.

Nonprofit workers earn $6 billion annually, more than 7 percent of the state's total payroll.

Fifty-two percent of all nonprofit employees in Maryland work in the health field, with just over 100,000 employed.

Nonprofit employment in Maryland has grown 30 percent over the past decade, accounting for 25 percent of all net new jobs created in Maryland. Most of that growth has occurred outside Baltimore City in the Baltimore and Washington suburbs, the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland. Maryland nonprofits have recently begun to encounter increased competition from for-profit firms, especially in the health, social service and education fields.

The average weekly wage for nonprofit employees is 24 percent lower than that for government workers in the state and 12 percent lower than that for workers in for-profit businesses. However, nonprofit wages are on a par with, or slightly ahead of, those of for-profits in industries where both are active (hospitals, home care and education).

The private nonprofit sector is comprised of private universities, schools, hospitals, clinics, day care centers, social service providers, symphonies, museums, art galleries, theaters, environmental organizations and many others. The data in this report draw on reports filed by employers with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and cover the period through the end of 1998.

The Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, an association of more than 950 entities representing a wide array of nonprofit activity, published this report and organized its release in Annapolis. For more information about this organization, visit the group's website at