Creative Sector Employs Nearly 300,000 in NYC, 7 Percent of All Jobs Citywide

Creative Sector Employs Nearly 300,000 in NYC, 7 Percent of All Jobs Citywide

Nonprofit arts and for profit creative industries were among the fastest growing segments of New York City's economy over the past decade, according to a new report released by the Center for an Urban Future.

Titled Creative New York, the study shows that New York significantly increased its share of the nation's jobs in each of the 10 industries that make up the city's creative economy, from advertising and design to visual and performing arts. Yet the report concludes that the city's working artists, nonprofit arts organizations and for profit creative businesses are experiencing more intense challenges than ever before, and that New York faces growing threats from a number of cities - from Shanghai and Berlin to Portland and Detroit-that are aggressively cultivating their creative economies.

The report reveals that while traditional economic drivers like finance and legal services have stagnated in recent years, employment in film and television production soared by 53 percent over the past decade, while architecture (33 percent), performing arts (26 percent), advertising (24 percent), visual arts (24 percent) and applied design (17 percent) all outpaced the city's overall employment growth (12 percent).

According to the study, in 2013 New York City's creative sector employed 295,755 people, seven percent of all jobs in the city. Employment in the sector is up from 260,770 in 2003, a 13 percent jump. Meanwhile, the city is now home to 14,145 creative businesses and nonprofits, up from 11,955 a decade ago (18 percent increase).

The report concludes that while the tech sector has grown more rapidly in recent years, and industries such as health care and retail have more jobs overall, the creative sector arguably provides New York with its greatest competitive advantage. It shows that in 2013, New York City was home to 8.6 percent of all creative sector jobs in the nation, up from 7.1 percent in 2003. And of the city's 20 largest industries, none comprise a larger share of the nation's total jobs, including information (which accounts for 6.1 percent of national jobs), educational services (5.5 percent), real estate (5.4 percent) and finance and insurance (5.2 percent).

Between 2003 and 2013, New York City's share of national jobs increased significantly in all ten industries that make up the creative economy, including especially large jumps in film and television (11 percent to 15 percent), advertising (9 percent to 12 percent) and architecture (4.5 percent to 7.3 percent). When examining specific occupations, the study shows that New York City is now home to 28 percent of the country's fashion designers, 14 percent of producers and directors, 12 percent of print and media editors and 12 percent of art directors.

The report also shows that New York has overtaken Los Angeles as the nation's largest creative sector. While LA boasted higher creative business employment in 2005, New York City is now on top.

Center for an Urban Future