2012 Otis Report Confirms Creativity Is a Strong Job Creator

Wed, 12/05/2012 - 1:52pm

Photo: Otis Report on the Creative Economy"Like sunshine and diversity, creativity is a defining resource of our region. And like sunshine and diversity, the creative economy appears to be naturally occurring here and thus has been largely taken for granted." So writes Samuel Hoi, President of Otis College of Art + Design, in the introduction to the 2012 Otis Report on the Creative Economy, the sixth annual survey of economic impact of creative businesses, workers, and industries through Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

The 2012 Report echoes many of the findings of last year's: the creative economy supports 1 in 8 jobs and retains its position as the fourth largest industry cluster in the Los Angeles County, following business to business services, health care, and hospitality. However, this year's good news includes evidence of nearly $6 billion in the growth of sales and receipts from these businesess, along with $200 million in increased tax revenues for local governments.

"Los Angeles is unique because of its combination of place, resources, and open attitudes toward new ideas. Here, new ideas are constantly given form and brought to life by creative people," the report states.  While many in the United States naturally identify Los Angeles as the incubator of the music and film industries, it only accounts for about 40% of the story.  The other 60%, the lion's share of our creative economy, unites fashion, the visual and performing arts, and furniture design, which account for 44% of creative economy income on their own.

With unemployment remaining a major concerns for Americans nationwide, Otis's Creative Economy report offers serious hope.  While the creative economy itself employs 304,000 people in Los Angeles County, each direct job supports an indirect job—a job at a vendor or servicer of a creative industry job—at an almost one to one ratio.  The total employment supported by the creative economy in the LA area is 589,600 in 2011, which means the creative economy alone was responsible for adding more than 17,000 jobs since 2010 in Los Angeles County alone.

While we may take creativity for granted, it is certainly a natural force to be reckoned with throughout the two county region.  Hoi's introduction encourages greater and more intentional investment in the creative economy to further spur its growth, calling for incubation of innovative local businesses and exceptional education for our residents.  He calls upon a robust collaboration from all sectors to realize this opportunity through a stronger, more calibrated effort: "We have to be a coalition from across sectors because everyone’s interest is at stake and everyone’s investment counts."

The complete 2012 Otis Report on the Creative Economy is available for download on the Otis website.