L.A.’s Creative Economy Sees Jobs Increase, Impact on Region’s Economy Slip


The creative economy, which includes entertainment and digital media, generates about $451 billion in economic output in California in 2017, according to a recent report, which found that the creative sector’s impact on the overall economic output in the Los Angeles region has slipped in recent years.

The Otis College of Art and Design and Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation report, released May 22 and sponsored by Mattel Inc. and other companies that are part of the creative economy, found that 12.2 percent of all 2016 economic output in Los Angeles and Orange counties could be attributed to the creative economic sector, down from 12.7 percent in 2015. (The report uses 2017 data for its statewide numbers, but uses its own methodology, based on 2016 numbers for its data on Los Angeles and Orange County.)

But creative jobs in the L.A. region have been on the rise. Between 2011 and 2016, direct wage and salary employment in the region’s creative industries increased by 21,800 jobs to 451,200. Total labor income for salaried employees in the creative industries of the Los Angeles region amounted to $40.5 billion in 2016. The report found that an additional 179,200 people were self-employed in the region’s creative industries in 2015 (the more-recent data available), with annual earnings of $8.5 billion.

Creative economy jobs are actually a bigger percentage of the California economy than the Los Angeles region, per the report. About $451 billion in economic output is generated in the Golden State’s creative economy, or 16.2 percent of the state’s $2.7 trillion annual economic output.

The state wide figures perhaps indicate the report’s inclusive definition of creative economy.

The authors include 12 different broadly defined sectors – called “super sectors”–of the economy: Architecture/interior design, art galleries, communication arts, digital media, entertainment, fashion, furniture/decorative arts, industrial design services, publishing & printing, toys, visual & performing arts providers, fine & performing arts schools.

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or [email protected]

Media and entertainment reporter Matthew Blake can be reached at (323)556-8332 or [email protected]

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