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Maryland nonprofits outpace business

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Over the past decade, Maryland’s nonprofit workforce has grown three times faster than business-sector employment in the state, a new report says.

By 2006, nonprofits accounted for 9.6 percent of all jobs in the state, significantly higher than the national average of 7.2 percent of all jobs in the U.S., says the study by Johns Hopkins University.

The ranks of nonprofit professionals grew by 2.9 percent in 2006, compared to 1.1 percent growth in the business sector.

“In payroll alone, nonprofit employees earned more than $10.6 billion in 2006, generating significant tax revenue and other economic benefits for

Maryland,” Lester Salamon, director of the Center for Civil Society at Johns Hopkins, says in a statement, adding such growth is increasingly critical in the current economy.

The role of nonprofits in replenishing the state’s job offerings is a long-term trend, says Nancy Hall, senior advisor at the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

Between 1996 and 2006, the sector saw a 20.5 percent increase in jobs, three times more than that of for-profit industries, Hall says.

Reflecting the continued suburbanization of Maryland nonprofits, the nonprofit sector’s job growth was especially strong in the Baltimore suburbs and the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., which together employ more than half of all nonprofit professionals in the state.

Even in areas where for-profit jobs are declining, like the Eastern Shore and Baltimore City, nonprofits still reported significant job growth, the study says.

The state saw an above-average increase in nonprofit jobs in the fields of professional and scientific services, social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation.

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