A recent Beacon Economics report indicates LA’s creative economy (including traditional and digital media, as well as related businesses) is not only growing faster than the national rate but is growing faster than the rest of the County’s economy, adding nearly 50,000 jobs between 2011 and 2016, directly employing 265,000 workers, and supporting a total of 640,500 jobs. In addition, the industry is projected to grow by more than 16,000 jobs over the next three years.
In an effort to ensure that diverse County residents can take advantage of this robust economic employment sector, the Board of Supervisors voted to direct appropriate County departments, including those responsible for workforce development, business, and the arts, to develop a plan to implement key recommendations outlined in the Beacon Economics study.
Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, author of the motion, said, “You can’t automate or outsource creativity. The Beacon Economics report makes it very clear, not only that the creative economy in LA is rapidly growing, but also that we have been successful in the last decade in increasing the demographic diversity within the sector. Today’s decision ensures that we will continue to open more doors to these industries and the jobs they bring. The County’s participation is important in the light of movements like #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite, as well as our own data, which show that we still have work to do. A diverse population is one of LA’s great strengths and we want to be sure that our diversity helps our creative businesses remain competitive and choose to grow their businesses here.”
“I am pleased that the Board is playing a role in supporting and growing this rich and emerging sector,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “As the imagination capital of the world, home to more than a hundred cultural institutions, as well as numerous world-class sporting assets, the best we can do for the diverse, skilled local workforce of LA County is to invest in this unique and powerful economic opportunity.”
“As the audiences for entertainment diversify and become more global, companies doing business in the creative sector have already begun to realize that staff diversity is a competitive asset,” said Adam Fowler, Director of Research at Beacon Economics and one of the report authors. “These steps by LA County are intended to help incubate informational exchanges and create educational opportunities so that companies in the sector will be able to tap a skilled, diverse, local workforce in the years to come.”