Working artists

Nearly 2 million Americans identify themselves as artists as their primary occupation. This is one of the key findings in a report from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) on artists in the workforce, published in May 2008. Among other key findings:
  • Artists remain highly concentrated in urban areas
  • Artists are generally more educated than the workforce as a whole but earn less than workers with similar levels of education
  • Artists are 3.5 times more likely to be self-employed
  • Fewer artists have full-year, full-time jobs than other workers
  • The West and South have seen the greatest growth in artists
Eleven artist occupations are covered in this report: actors; announcers; architects; fine artists, art directors, and animators; dancers and choreographers; designers; entertainers and performers; musicians and singers; photographers; producers and directors; and writers and authors.

Artists in the Workforce, 1990-2005 (pdf, 150pp/2.77MB)
Exec. Summary (pdf, 8pp/1.72MB)



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