The Arts and Employment: Where the jobs are

By Betsy Ross, Contributing Writer

 /* Style Definitions */
	{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";
	mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;
  Photo by Flickr user Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

Photo by Flickr user Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

Want a job in the arts? A new national report shows which states give you the best chance of landing the job you want in the creative field. And the report shows the economic importance of the arts as employers. It’s the first time the report has been segmented by state and a useful tool for state leaders.

The report by the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) is in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The ACPSA is the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector's contributions to the U.S. economy.

“Information from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account has been invaluable for understanding the role of arts and culture in our economy, demonstrating that the arts are indeed part of our everyday lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Now with the new state data, state leaders have a powerful tool to assess and advance arts and culture for the benefit of all their residents.”

The latest data shows that the arts and cultural sector contributed $729.6 billion or 4.2 percent to the U.S. economy that year. Between 1998 and 2014, the contribution of arts and culture to the nation’s gross domestic product grew by 35.1 percent. 

By state, Ohio had 171,902 arts-related workers in 2014, with compensation at $9.5 billion. Indiana had just over 93,700 jobs, with income of $4.4 billion. And Kentucky had a little more than 51,000 arts-related jobs with $2.6 billion income.

The top states, by the way, in arts and cultural employment are New York, Wyoming, Washington, California and Utah. Wyoming had high numbers of construction jobs for arts-related projects, especially connected with the national parks system. Utah, on the other hand, had high numbers of jewelry and silver artisans.

Tennessee had the greatest concentration of workers in the sound recording industry, while Indiana was in the top five because of a large share of workers that make musical instruments (Elkhart, Indiana has long been the home for band instrument manufacturers).

Leaning toward museums or similar outlets? Top ranking states for employment are Hawaii, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts and Vermont. Top dollar for a museum job is in Hawaii, with New York second.

In fact, the ACPSA report shows 40 percent of all U.S. workers in arts and cultural goods and services are located in just five states: California; New York; Texas; Florida; and Illinois. On the other hand, Delaware, Vermont, Wyoming, Alaska, and North Dakota, combined, account for 1 percent of U.S. arts and cultural workers.  

There’s some good news for Ohio, though: In 2014 Ohio employed 3,301 in industrial design services jobs, second to Michigan’s 4,774. Translate that into shares of each state’s total workforce, and arts and cultural employment for industrial designers was 5.6 times (for Michigan) and 3.1 times (for Ohio) greater than the national index.

The entire report can be found here.


Jackie ReauTRENDS