People & Jobs Indicators:Artist Earnings Employment Education Diversity
People & Jobs Overview“A high incidence of working artists in a particular place is a strong indicator of cultural vitality and provides at least some measure of the support available for key types of artistic endeavors.” — The Urban Institute, Cultural Vitality in Communities: Interpretation and Indicators
Artists are the wellspring of a local arts scene and the essential pillar of our creative community. To practice their craft, artists require a variety of forms of support that often includes access to education, a means to publicize their work, and most of all, an adequate income. More below…
It can be difficult to gather data on artists, since their work often takes place outside the usual structure of traditional employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, conducts a quarterly Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey to gather employment and wage data for artists who are not exclusively self-employed. This survey records information on wage rates and employment totals across 801 detailed occupations nationwide. It is important to note, however, that while OES counts both part-time and full-time employees, it does not count self-employed workers. As a result, the employment totals included in this report are sourced from the 2006-2010 U.S. Census Equal Employment Opportunity Tabulations, which capture all three groups.