Creative Job Stats Every Brooklynite Should Know


    As we all know, Brooklyn’s become a boomtown for creative dreamers and makers. Now, a study from the Center for an Urban Future has confirmed and quantified the artsy influx.

    CUF is a think tank and master of urban stats (we’ve written about their work before) so you can look forward to hearing these figures merrily repeated by pro-art policy makers in the months to come. The report was already cited at least twice at last week’s Make It In Brooklyn Summit, though not by Bruce Ratner.

    Ready to face the facts?

    According to the study, Manhattan is still the mothership for New York’s creative scene, housing a whopping 82 percent of creative-type jobs. But over the past 10 years, Brooklyn’s creative businesses grew more than any other borough, at an increase of 125 percent.

    2_Nobutaka Aozaki_Smiley Bag Portrait_2011

    Photo by Xiaotian Yang courtesy of Brooklyn Museum

    Brooklyn also saw a 53 percent increase in its number of self-employed creatives, while the number of self-employed creative jobs in Manhattan decreased by 18 percent. Perhaps independent artists are decamping from Manhattan to relatively cheaper and roomier locales across the East River?

    Brooklyn is now home to 1,831 creative firms — more than the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island combined — although Manhattan clearly reigns with 11,151 firms. We should also keep in mind that, in all likelihood, Manhattan’s creative businesses are larger than Brooklyn’s and have been around longer.

    dumbo arts fest

    Photo courtesy of Dumbo Arts Festival

    Brooklyn creative industries with the most impressive growth were film and television, architecture, applied design and the performing arts. The numbers wow: Film and TV increased from 91 to 312 firms, architecture from 77 firms to 190, applied design from 242 to 526, and performing arts from 91 to 182.

    Somewhat surprisingly, the gallery scene in Brooklyn has also gotten stronger, in spite of a number of closings in Williamsburg. The borough’s overall gallery count jumped from 95 in 2004 to 248 in 2015, while Williamsburg’s gallery scene shrank by more than a third from its peak in 2011, likely due to development and rising rents.


    Photo courtesy of New York City Department of Transportation

    There are oodles of fun factoids in the full Creative New York report. And more coverage here:

    Creative Economy, Always Huge in NYC, Finds Most Robust Growth in Brooklyn [Eagle]
    The U.S. Cities Where Creative Jobs Are Thriving [Fast Company]
    NYC’s Creative Class Job Sector Tops L.A., as Film and TV Production Jumps [NY Biz Journal]

    Top photo courtesy of Dumbo Arts Festival

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