On April 19, 2017, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) released the latest findings of the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA), a collaboration of the NEA and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the first federal effort to provide in-depth analysis of the arts and cultural sector’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

This latest ACPSA data is from 2014 and reveals that the arts and cultural sector contributed $729.6 billion or 4.2 percent to the U.S. economy that year. Between 1998 and 2014, the contribution of arts and culture to the nation’s gross domestic product grew by 35.1 percent. The new state data tracking arts and cultural employment and compensation provides illuminating profiles and allows for comparisons among states and regions.

“Information from the Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account has been invaluable for understanding the role of arts and culture in our economy, demonstrating that the arts are indeed part of our everyday lives,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Now with the new state data, state leaders have a powerful tool to assess and advance arts and culture for the benefit of all their residents.”

The ACPSA identifies and measures 35 industries that constitute the larger arts and cultural sector. The employment and compensation totals for these industries are represented as national and state-level numbers with the latter relative to the national rate. The relationship of the state numbers to the U.S. average is expressed in the form of percentages and location quotients (LQ), which account for the state’s overall workforce.

Highlights and resources

  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis’s state fact sheets feature ACPSA employment, compensation, top industries, trends, and rankings for 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • Through an award from the NEA, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies produced an interactive dashboard that goes into greater depth with the ACPSA data, allowing users to explore key information for individual states.
  • An interactive infographic offers a quick look at states’ arts and cultural employment and compensation.

  • New York, Washington, and Wyoming exceed the national index by 28 to 47 percent for arts and cultural workers on a per worker basis.
    • Wyoming has high numbers in arts and culture-related construction and government, which includes nature parks.

  • For performing arts employment per worker, the top five states include Hawaii, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Nevada’s compensation for these workers is four times the national index.
  • Hawaii’s 23 museums and 17 zoos and botanical gardens contribute to the state’s high museum employment, which is four times the national rate.
  • In the motion picture and video industry, the top five states for employment per worker include Louisiana, New Mexico, and Utah, with Louisiana ranking the highest after California and New York.
  • For sound recording (as a share of state employment and compensation for all industries), Tennessee is the leader at six to seven times the national index. Indiana ranks high in musical instrument production, at 2.3 times the national rate.

Resources for exploring industry comparisons

An interactive infographic shows selected industry totals included in the ACPSA sector

  • Between 2013 and 2014, the growth in arts and cultural workers exceeded the national rate in 17 states, with the largest growth in Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and Washington.
    • Utah and Washington gained arts and cultural workers in both the short term (2013-2014) and the longer term (2008-2014).
  • Since the recession (2008-2014), few states experienced gains in arts and cultural workers, however, a significant exception is North Dakota, where growth was at 11 percent, reflecting the state’s total employment increase of 26 percent.
  • Between 2013 and 2014, arts and cultural employment fell by one percent or more in only 12 states.
    • In Montana, a decrease in arts-related retail sales and construction were the main sources of declining arts and cultural employment. In West Virginia, reduced employment in government impacted arts and cultural employment.

Resources for exploring state trends

ACPSA resources for researchers

To help researchers delve into the numbers, the NEA offers two arts data profiles: Arts Data Profile #12: The U.S. Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (1998-2014) Arts Data Profile #13: State-Level Estimates of Arts and Cultural Employment (2001-2014) that features many of the above resources in addition to satellite account tables and the NEA Guide to the U.S. Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account.

NASAA Creative Work Force State Profiles

The 2014 Arts and Cultural Production Satellite Account (ACPSA) data is the basis for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies’ Creative Work Force State Profiles. Produced in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the Creative Work Force State Profiles is an on-line tool you can use to mine state level information on employment in the arts and culture sectors.

Designed to complement the NEA’s growing suite of ACPSA resources, this new interactive dashboard will be helpful to state arts leaders and policymakers seeking to quantify the contributions of the arts and culture to state economies.

The Creative Work Force State Profiles tool allows you to explore

  • arts and culture sector employment and compensation data for every state, as well as the nation
  • profiles of the arts and culture alongside other key industry sectors (including mining, forestry, construction and retail)
  • regional views of how your state compares to your neighbors
  • employment and compensation trends over time