01/22/2012 12:35 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2012

Nonprofits Add Jobs Faster Than For-Profit Sector: Report

Over the last 10 years, the nonprofit sector has been adding jobs faster than the for-profit sector, a recent study concluded.

From 2000 through 2010, nonprofits increased their employment by 2.1 percent, while for-profit companies decreased employment by an average of .6 percent per year according to a new study published by Johns Hopkins University.

"This nonprofit resilience is due in important part to the fact that nonprofits are active in a variety of service fields that tend to be shielded from the normal pressures of the business cycle," the study concluded.

With its 10.7 million workers, as of 2010, nonprofit organizations employ the third largest workforce among U.S. industries. They trail behind only retail trade and manufacturing.

Of those nonprofit jobs, the study reveals 57 percent are in the health care field.

Part of the reason why nonprofits have been able to hire, despite the tough economy, is that they can lean on government funding for services and that the aging of the population and female participation in the labor force have boosted their overall demand, the study concluded.

"Nonprofits are demonstrating their importance during the current recession as never before," the study noted, "staying the course in the face of significant pressures, and expanding their operations to meet increased demands."