Creative Class Recovery Finally Arrives

Emerging Occupation News, August 3, 2013

Can you prosper by choosing a ‘creative’ occupation? Many young Americans are naturally drawn to creative occupations, such as artists, designers, entertainers, sports, and media workers.   (yes, I know that sports don’t seem to  belong there, but that’s how BLS breaks out the workforce).  These occupations seem to be both more interesting and less susceptible to foreign competition.

These occupations make up part of what urban studies expert Richard Florida called the creative class.    The problem:  Many Americans working in these creative occupations lost their jobs during the early stages of the crisis.  Panicked corporate execs saw little need for designers or artists when the world seemed to be collapsing.

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But now creative workers have something to rejoice. Employment in arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media professions has  exceeded 3 million for the first time, and finally gone above pre-crisis levels. This is not a mere flash in the pan. If we look at 12-month moving averages, we see the same pattern, where  employment in the creative occupations has finally decisively climbed above their previous peaks.

In future blog items, I will delve more deeply into the details of this recovery. But it may be that ‘creative’ is finally starting to pay off.

Added: Want ads for these creative occupations are up 12.8% over the past year (comparing June 2013 to a year earlier).  That’s compared to a 5.3% gain for all want ads. Some of the big gainers include graphic designers (as I pointed out here) and film and video editors.

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