The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 12, 2001
February 12, 2001
VOL. 30, NO. 21


JHU Study Shows Employment in Maryland Nonprofits Continues to Grow

By Glenn Small
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Jobs in Maryland's nonprofit sector have increased more than 3.5 times faster than private sector and government jobs over the past decade and now account for one of every 11 paid positions in the state, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

The study shows that the number of Maryland residents employed by nonprofits grew to 202,635 paid workers by the end of 1999, the latest period for which data is available. That's an increase of 7,221 employees over 1998 figures and means that workers in nonprofits now account for 8.5 percent of the state work force.

The information was released by the Nonprofit Employment Data Project, which seeks for the first time to quantify the size and scope of employment in nonprofits in Maryland and several other states.

"Certainly, nonprofit employment is a good indicator of the size and influence of this growing segment of our society," said Lester Salamon, a principal research scientist at the university's Institute for Policy Studies and a leading expert on nonprofits. "In payroll alone, nonprofit employees earned more than $6 billion in 1999, generating significant tax revenue and other economic benefits for Maryland.

Salamon and Sarah Dewees, project coordinator for the Nonprofit Employment Data Project, are preparing a detailed report, which will be released soon. Among their findings:

More people work for nonprofits in Maryland than work in manufacturing or construction.

Nonprofits continue to account for one out of every five paid workers in the city of Baltimore, making this the city's largest economic sector.

Among employees of nonprofits, just over 102,000 people work in the health field, which accounts for 50 percent of employment in nonprofits. These jobs include work in hospitals, nursing and personal care facilities, and the offices and clinics of medical doctors and other health practitioners.

By the end of 1999, the average weekly wage for all industries in Maryland was $713, compared to $606 for workers in nonprofits. But in hospitals, home care and education, workers in nonprofits earned higher weekly wages.

Although Baltimore City leads the state with workers in nonprofits, employment in nonprofits in other areas of the state is growing at a faster rate. For instance, employment in nonprofits in the Baltimore and Washington suburbs grew by 55 percent between 1989 and 1999, and by 35 percent in western Maryland over the same period.

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 1999.

The Center for Civil Society Studies is publishing this report in collaboration with the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, an association of more than 950 nonprofit organizations representing a wide array of nonprofit activity. For more information, visit the CCSS Web site at