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Creative Jobs in NC Up 8.5 Percent

NC Arts CouncilGiven the recently proposed budget cuts to the North Carolina Arts Council, we thought this was worth passing along. The bulletpoints below are especially interesting, and worth remembering when weighing the value of the arts to our local economy.

Findings from the annual Creative Vitality Index (CVI) update, released last week, show an increase of more than 8 percent in creative occupations jobs held by nearly 3 percent of North Carolina’s workforce.

According to the NCAC, the CVI is a national report that provides an annual measure of the health of the creative economy. The CVI measures concentrations of arts-related employment in both the private/business and nonprofit sectors as well as indicators of consumer activity in the arts. The N.C. Arts Council has data on creative industry spending and creative occupation employment since 2006.

The 8 percent increase in creative occupation jobs over the last five years includes positions such as architects, librarians, fine artists, designers, performers, photographers, and public relations specialists in the more than fifty categories tracked. The creative industry jobs measure all workers in business sectors within the categories Entertainment and Information; Publishing and Printing; Artists; Design Services; Retail; Community Services and Design Manufacturing. All these categories, except for Community Services, saw steady growth. The art gallery and individual artist industry cluster generated the most industry sales within the CVI report.

The most recent data shows that people with creative ideas, innovators, and entrepreneurs bring investment and jobs to our communities. Specifically, the CVI report shows the following:

  • Creative Industries are directly and indirectly responsible for almost 320,000 full time, part time, and sole proprietor jobs. This figure represents 6 percent of North Carolina’s overall workforce. These creative industry jobs generate over $12 billion in wages, salaries, and benefits—$2 billion more than the impact four years ago.
  •  The number of jobs in creative occupations increased by more than 8 percent over the past five years to 137,225 total creative jobs. This figure represents nearly 3 percent of the state’s workforce. Between 2010 and 2011 our state gained 6,833 creative full-time, part-time, and sole-proprietor positions in creative occupations.
  •  Creative Industries in North Carolina generate more than $18 billion in revenues and more than $7 billion in exports.

We’ve been tracking the economic benefits of the arts on this blog for several years now. In July of 2012, a study by Americans for the Arts found that in Mecklenburg County alone, cultural groups and their audiences are the driving force behind nearly $200 million a year.

Last spring the NCAC released Arts & Economic Prosperity IV, the first statewide economic impact study of North Carolina’s nonprofit arts and culture industry. Conducted by Americans for the Arts, the study showed that nonprofit arts and culture alone are a $1.23 billion industry for the state.