In North Carolina, creative occupations pay much better than the state average, grow faster in boom times, and decline slower during recessions. Those are a few of the conclusions from an analysis on the state’s creative economy by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.
Sara Nienow of the Department of Commerce and Patrick Cronin of IEI — a public policy “think-and-do” tank — used EMSI’s employment data and tools to compare North Carolina’s creative workforce with other sectors. They looked at wages, employment trends, the distribution of creative jobs across major sectors, among other indicators.
“EMSI quickly provided us with the detailed data to demonstrate the importance of the creative economy,” Nienow said. “The report was well received by state leaders and we look forward to using EMSI’s data tools for future public policy analysis.”
She and Cronin found that 5.5% of the North Carolina workforce was in creative industries as of 2008 (compared to 6% for the U.S.) while creative occupations grew nearly 8% faster than all other occupations in the state from 2002-08.
The report came about as a result of an IEI forum in February. More than 1,200 North Carolinians came to the 25th annual conference in Raleigh to discuss creativity and “how North Carolina can develop creative thinking — and doing — that will increase the jobs the state so desperately needs,” Nienow and Cronin wrote.