According to the Otis College of Art and Design annual report released Wednesday, California’s creative economy is showing signs of resilience in the entertainment and media sectors, which were able to rotate best during the COVID-recession. 19, while the fashion industry continues to decline.
It includes five sectors: entertainment and digital media; fine arts and entertainment; architecture and related services; creative goods and products and fashion: the creative economy has been responsible for a disproportionate impact on the fiscal welfare of the state, with an impact on the total value added of 687.6 billion dollars in 2020, the equivalent of about 23% of the California’s gross regional product of nearly $ 3 trillion, even though its 1.4 million workers account for only 7.8% of employment.
Employment in California’s creative sector increased 15% overall in 2020, which is down from 22% in 2019, but it’s still a positive trend line over the past 13 years that the Otis study has been tracking.
(This year’s report studied for 2020 is in-depth as the job statistics are only fully available since that year, but it also looked at the macroeconomic conditions that speak for the recovery that took place in 2021.)
Unsurprisingly, entertainment and digital media continued to be the strongest sector, employing nearly 1 million workers statewide, primarily in Los Angeles County and the Bay Area.
Driven largely by the rise in video streaming, California added 320,000 entertainment and digital media jobs from 2007 to 2020, but employment fell 3.3% in 2020. However, in terms of scale, the industry’s total added GRP, $ 599.4 billion, would be greater than that of the cities of Dallas and Seattle in terms of economic impact.
By comparison, the total added GRP for the California fashion industry, with 3.8% of creative economy workers, was $ 17.4 billion. However, if it were a city, its economic impact would be greater than Gainesville, Florida, and Eugene, Ore.
Creative industry employment in Los Angeles County saw the sharpest decline, due to the higher concentration of workers (64% of the state total) in the lagging fashion industry, a victim of the steady long-term decline in production. in the United States
“SoCal has historically been the capital of blue jeans, but the cost of labor has shifted much of that business to other areas,” said Adam Fowler, a partner at CVL Economics, the economic research firm that created the report. “As fashion technology is becoming more accessible, we’re starting to see it coming back a bit, but it’s hosted in retail where design prototyping and supply chain are done in-house under a small, more entrepreneurial umbrella.”
In 2020, the total number of fashion jobs in the state was 108,250, an annual decrease of 14.4%, the majority of wage earners.
A bright spot? The cosmetics subsector grew by over 35%. The fact that Los Angeles County cosmetics employment has fallen by nearly 13 percent shows that the focus of this subsector is shifting to other regions.
Supply chain problems, inflation, labor shortages and global disruptions due to the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine are expected to have an ongoing impact on the creative economy.
Looking ahead, to promote growth, the report recommends that the state focus on increasing affordable housing and affordable commercial real estate; adapt tax incentives for film and TV to also include post-production, visual effects, animation, and the burgeoning gaming industries, and nurture talent by partnering with the education and business sectors.
In fashion in particular, Fowler spotted the potential in fashion technology, from the Snapchat filters of a Levi’s T-shirt, as well as for lighting technicians and costume designers working in the virtual world.