Nonprofits bucked trend with job growth
Report: 2.7 percent work force increase in 2008 vs. 3.3 percent drop among for-profits
Nonprofits have helped strengthen the state's economy during the recession, according to a new report.
Nonprofit employment in Maryland grew by 2.7 percent in 2008, while for-profit employment fell 3.3 percent, according to a report released Monday by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies.
The findings reflect a long-term trend of nonprofit job growth in Maryland. From 1999 to 2008, nonprofit employment in the state grew 27 percent nearly seven times the 4 percent growth rate in the for-profit sector during this period.
"I think nonprofit jobs grew mainly because the needs grew," said Glen O'Gilvie, CEO of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Washington, D.C. "The recession has increased the need for the services nonprofits generally provide. We've had more homeless and unemployed people [since the recession started]. Right now, the need for more workers in nonprofits is greater.
"But nonprofits are also hurting from the recession. Regional nonprofits have reported a 30-50 percent decline in revenues due to the recession, but the demand [for the services we provide] have almost tripled."
The Johns Hopkins report also shows that nonprofit job growth was especially strong in Western Maryland, where it grew 5.3 percent in 2008, and in the Baltimore suburbs, where it grew 4.5 percent. Net losses in for-profit jobs were evident in every section of the state.
In addition, even though more than half of the state's nonprofit employment is in suburban areas, nonprofits account for a larger proportion of total private jobs in Baltimore city and the rural areas of state.
"This report shows that nonprofits not only strengthen communities across the state through the services they provide, but also strengthen the economy through increased employment, wages, and general commerce," said Darryl A. Jones Sr., CEO of Maryland Nonprofits, the state's nonprofit association, in a statement.
"We are concerned about the sector's continued ability to meet rising demands as the recession drags on and state fiscal problems deepen, and will watch nonprofit employment numbers beyond the conclusion of 2008 to monitor the effects of the recession in 2009," Jones said.
By the end of 2008, the state's nonprofit work force grew to 256,618 jobs, which was about 10 percent of all jobs, or 12.5 percent of total private-sector jobs, in the state, well above the national average. Only the state retail trade industry employs more people than the nonprofit sector.
Maryland nonprofits pumped more than $11.5 billion in wages into the state economy in 2008, or more than 9 percent of the state's total payrolls, according to the report. These wages resulted in an estimated $635 million in personal income tax revenue for Maryland's state and local governments and nearly $1.6 billion in federal tax revenues.
According to previous reports by Johns Hopkins, nonprofits generally add more workers during times of economic downturn. In two previous U.S. recessions 1990-91 and 2001-02 nonprofit employment nationally increased by an average of 2.4 percent while for-profit employment declined by 2.2 percent.
That's partly because many nonprofits receive substantial portions of their income from public-sector programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, which are designed to help support citizens during downturns, researchers said.
Nonprofit job growth was especially strong in the professional and scientific services field, which grew by 5.8 percent during 2008. While private nonprofit hospitals had slightly lower-than-average job growth, they still added 1,208 jobs during this period, or about 20 percent of the state's nonprofit job growth.
The report, "Nonprofits and Recessions: New Data from Maryland," which includes a county-by-county breakdown of nonprofit employment, is available at ccss.jhu.edu.