A! Magazine for the Arts

NEA releases Research on Artists in the Workforce

November 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There are 2.1 million artists in the United States workforce, and a large portion of them -- designers -- contribute to industries whose products Americans use every day, according to new research from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Artists and Arts Workers in the United States
offers the first combined analysis of artists and industries, state and metro employment rates, and new demographic information such as age, education levels, income, ethnicity, and other social characteristics.

This latest report builds on earlier NEA research -- Artists in the Workforce: 1990-2005 -- which identified key traits that differentiated artists from other U.S. workers. That report found artists to be entrepreneurial (more likely to be self-employed) and more educated than the workforce at large. This latest research confirms those earlier conclusions and shares new data about the working artist.

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