Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New study shows growing number of artistic jobs in New Jersey

By Leonardo Vazquez, AICP/PP

A new report by The National Consortium for Creative Placemaking shows how the creative economy in New Jersey is growing faster than the overall economy.  

Among the key findings:

 The number of wage-earning artistic occupations increased 4% from 2005 to 2015, from 85,900 to 90,580.  This represents a change of 3,480 jobs.  

 The growth of artistic jobs in New Jersey lagged behind that of the entire United States, which saw an 8% growth in the same artistic occupations between 2005 and 2015.  In the United States as a whole, the number of artistic occupations grew from 2.40 million in 2005 to 3.04 million in 2015, an increase of 191,470.

·         The number of artistic occupations grew while the total number of wage-earning jobs in New Jersey dropped. Between 2005 and 2015, the total number of wage-earning jobs in New Jersey dropped .3%, from 3.92 million to 3.91 million.  Without artistic occupations, there would have been 14,500 fewer wage earning jobs in New Jersey in 2015 than in 20015.

           Not all artistic occupations saw growth between 2005 and 2015.  The fastest growing occupations, in terms of number of jobs were: manicurists and pedicurists; baker; bartenders; postsecondary art, drama and music teachers; and chefs and head cooks.  Occupations that saw the greatest decline (in numbers) were: editors; graphic designers; media and communication equipment workers; architectural and engineering managers; and stonemasons. Overall, 21 of the 51 occupations saw increases in the number of jobs.

·         Wage growth is an important indicator of how an occupation is valued in the marketplace. The occupations with the highest increase in wage growth between 2005 and 2015, by absolute numbers were: archivists; film and video editors; museum technicians and conservators; editors and curators. The professions with the greatest decline in wages, were:  agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes; broadcast technicians; fashion designers; landscape architects; and camera operators for television, video and motion pictures.

·         The number of freelance artists, writers and performers in New Jersey grew 22% from 2004 to 2014, from 17,980 to 21,880.

·         The growth in freelance arts professionals outpaced the overall growth in freelancers in New Jersey. In 2004, there were 556,970 freelancers in New Jersey; in 20014, 653,270. In fact, without the growth of freelance artists, there would have been a 4% decline in the number of freelancers in New Jersey.

·         Freelance artists, writers and performers generated 8% more revenue in 2014 than they did in 2004.  In 2014 dollars, artistic freelancers generated $492.8 million in 2014, compared to $458.3 million in 2004. 

·         The five counties with the greatest numbers of freelance artists, writers and performers in 2014 were, in order: Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Monmouth and Middlesex.

·         The five counties that saw the largest increases in the numbers of freelance artists, writers and performers between 2004 and 2014 were, in order: Essex, Bergen, Morris, Hudson and Monmouth. The five counties with the greatest percentage increase in artistic freelancers were, in order: Morris, Sussex, Burlington, Ocean and Essex.

·         The average annual salaries grew for 48% of artistic occupations from 2005 to 2015. This indicates a growing demand or growing value of these occupations in the economy.

·         Artistic professionals in New Jersey had at least $3.89 billion in disposable income in 2015. The actual amount of buying power may be much higher because wage information was not available for five occupations.

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