Creative industry economic driver

Creativity is big business in North Carolina, with creative individuals and businesses contributing $41.4 billion to the state’s economy, says a new report by the state Department of Commerce.

That market value of products and services provided by over 100 creative industries, both nonprofit and for-profit, represents 5.86 percent of total production in the state.

Creative industry, which includes the arts, design, and entertainment and new media, accounts for over 293,000 jobs in the state, or 5.54 percent of total state employment.

It also sustains over $10 billion in employee compensation, or more than 4.9 percent of total wages and benefits in the state.

“The nonprofit and for-profit enterprises in the creative industry thrive through their symbiotic relationship, fostering and distributing original creative content,” says the report, commissioned by the state Department of Cultural Resources and building on research commissioned in 2007 by the North Carolina Arts Council.

It also says the presence of creative professionals in a given county is the single most important factor associated with the amount of money visitors will spend and is strongly associated with rising household incomes.

Counties with higher proportions of workers in arts-related jobs are more likely to keep current residents and attract new ones, the report says.

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