Business & Employment in the Arts: Measuring the Scope of the Nation’s Arts-Related Industries

This brief report summarizes data on not-for-profit organizations and businesses “involved in the production or distribution of the arts”. Included in the definition are organizations and businesses such as not-for-profit orchestras, museums and theatres as well as “for-profit film, architecture, and advertising companies”. Overall, the report finds that there are just over 700,000 arts-related organizations and businesses in the U.S., employing 2.9 million people. “This represents 3.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and 1.9 percent of all U.S. employees—demonstrating statistically that the arts are a formidable business presence”.

This report provides a brief overview of key concepts regarding the term “the creative economy” as well as an extensive bibliography of reports related to the creative economy (as of 2013).

This study examines worldwide revenues and employment in 11 cultural and creative industries: advertising; architecture; books; gaming; movies; music; newspapers and magazines; performing arts; radio; television; and visual arts and design. Worldwide revenues in the cultural and creative industries totalled $2.25 trillion in 2013, or 3% of global GDP. (All figures are provided in US dollars.) The worldwide revenues of the cultural and creative industries exceed those of the telecommunications services industry ($1.6 trillion).

Based on Canadian, American, and United Kingdom employment surveys, this report compares the creative economy in the three countries. Based on the definitions used in the report, Canada’s creative economy is comprised of 2.2 million workers, including 534,000 creative workers in creative industries, 815,000 creative workers in non-creative industries, and 893,000 non-creative workers within the creative industries. Comparisons between the three countries show that Canada has the highest share of total employment on three related measures.

This report attempts to provide a “health check” for the arts in England. Between 2007/08 and 2013/14, the overall arts index increased from 99 to 111. Most of the increase in the index occurred between 2007 and 2011.

Hotbeds of America’s Arts and Culture

Arguing that “creativity is a desirable and necessary element for a thriving community”, this American report attempts to identify cities with particularly strong artistic vibrancy among 937 metropolitan areas in the U.S.A.

The 2016 report of the National Arts Index, based largely on data from 2013, highlights the “post-recession recovery” of the arts using 81 equally-weighted national indicators across four key dimensions: financial flows; capacity; arts participation; and competitiveness. The overall index value was 99.8 in 2013, higher than any year since 2009 but only back to the levels in the first two years measured (2002 and 2003). In other words, based on this index, the arts in America are in roughly the same health as in 2002.

The Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) looks beyond the key national economic indicator (Gross Domestic Product, or GDP) to attempt to measure “those areas of our lives that we care about the most, like education, health, the environment, and the relationships we have with others”. The health of leisure and culture is estimated using eight indicators, five of which relate to the arts, culture, and heritage.