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Arts and Cultural Industries Represented a Record $1 Trillion of the US Economy in 2021, New Report Finds

The arts and tradition sectors represented greater than $1 trillion of the US economic system in 2021 and accounted for a file portion of nation’s general financial worth, per new knowledge from the federal government.

On Wednesday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) printed their latest analysis of the financial well being of 35 industries inside the arts. Additional emphasis was positioned on measuring whether or not every business had returned to pre-pandemic ranges of financial efficiency—or if they’d didn’t get well. 

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According to the report, between 2020 and 2021, the full financial worth contributed by arts and cultural industries elevated by 13.7 p.c, vastly surpassing the positive aspects of the broader US economic system, which grew by simply 5.9 p.c over the identical interval. By the top of 2021, the humanities industries made up 4.4 p.c of the nation’s general gross home product (GDP).

Of the 35 industries studied, ten—together with impartial performers and artists and performing arts organizations—recorded important progress inside 2021, nonetheless none reached 2019-levels of financial output. The NEA additionally reported that slightly below 4.9 million folks have been employed within the arts industries in 2021, representing a rise from 2020, when the pandemic curtailed financial exercise within the arts worldwide. That too was nonetheless beneath the 5.2 million employed in 2019.

Performing arts staff and performing artwork venues, two of the toughest hit areas in 2019, grew in 2021 by 14 p.c to about 230,000 staff in complete. Again, a acquire that was nonetheless beneath the 323,000 staff employed by the business earlier than Covid-19. 

However, the report notes that these figures solely signify staff on the bankroll of arts organizations. The decline in employment in some areas could possibly be defined by an elevated reliance on freelancers or contract staff throughout this era. Self-employed people traditionally make up a disproportionate quantity of the humanities workforce in comparison with different industries. 

“This annual report from the NEA and BEA underscores that arts and culture are an essential part of the American economy. It is similarly apparent, however, that the sector still faces tremendous hardships due to COVID-19,” NEA chair Maria Rosario Jackson stated in an announcement. 

She continued, “Because the data reflect the economic activity of nonprofit and for-profit organizations alike, it’s important to recognize the distinctive contributions both make in ensuring a vibrant and expansive arts and cultural sector.”



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