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NEA Says US Cultural Sectors Primed the Pump by $278 Billion

Friday, July 22, 2011

The contributions to the economy of the performing arts, sports, and museum industries doubled from 1987 to 2009. The contributions to the economy of the performing arts, sports, and museum industries doubled from 1987 to 2009. (Luna Lin)

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released a report this week showing that key cultural industries added $278.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009, an amount larger than the 2009 Gross State Product of 45 states.

The report, "Arts and the GDP: Value Added by Selected Cultural Industries," drew on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and looked at the performing arts, museum, sports, motion picture, sound recording and publishing industries.

The NEA research revealed that the performing arts, sports, and museum industries added $70.9 billion to the economy in 2009. That same year, the motion picture and sound recording industries added $59.8 billion and the publishing industry (which includes its software sector) contributed $147.7 billion.

The contributions to the economy of the performing arts, sports, and museum industries doubled from 1987 to 2009. But from 2007 to 2009, the recession hit the sectors hard. They fell by 1.4 percent in 2008 and 5.5 percent in 2009.

Here are some of the study's findings for New York and New Jersey:

  • The report found that each new dollar of value added by the performing arts industry in New Jersey added $1.28 to the state's economy, a high multiplier on par with that of California, Georgia, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Each dollar of value added by the performing arts industry in New York contributed less — $1.22, which was akin to that of Florida and Pennsylvania.
  • For each value dollar added by museums, historical sites, zoos and parks, New Jersey added $1.37 to the economy; New York added $1.28.
  • The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released a report this week showing that key cultural industries added $278.4 billion to the U.S. economy in 2009.Despite those figures, which were some of the highest of the 50 states, the performing arts industries generated low numbers of new jobs in New York and in New Jersey. A contribution of $1 million by the performing arts sectors was expected to only generate 20 jobs in the industry in New York and 28 jobs in the industry in New Jersey.
  • The employment numbers weren't much better in the museum industry. Only 24 jobs were expected to be created in New Jersey for each $1 million created in that industry and only 20 jobs were expected to be created in the industry in New York. Low employment numbers reflect the high wages paid to workers in New York and New Jersey, compared to other states in the country.

To view the full NEA findings, click here.

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