You are here
Western North Carolina’s “creative economy” encompasses a diverse array of occupations, including photographers, writers and authors, musicians and singers, fine artists, designers, actors, architects and landscape architects, librarians, and public relations professionals. In 2011, total jobs in this sector were 14,233.
A breakdown of the region’s creative sector jobs is shown in the accompanying table. Some creative occupations are better represented in Western North Carolina than statewide or nationally on a per capita basis. This is particularly true of landscape architects, commercial and industrial designers, set and exhibit designers, music directors and composers, and craft artisans (compared to state averages). Data are drawn from the Creative Vitality Index (CVI) diagnostic tool, which identifies standard creative occupations. Because the data are compiled from national labor statistics that rely on self-reporting, it is likely that the number of creative occupations is undercounted.
Location Quotient (LQ) is an index value for each occupation, measuring whether or not there is a per capita concentration of an occupation within the area being measured. In the accompanying table, the CVI scores of Western North Carolina are compared with state and national averages, which are each set to a benchmark index score of 1.00. For example, compared to the state average, the LQ score for Writers and Authors in Western North Carolina is 1.17, meaning that the number of writers and authors in Western North Carolina is 17% higher than in the state as a whole (on a per capita basis).
Creative Occupations in Western North Carolina*, 2011
|Occupation Type||Jobs||LQ (compared to state)||LQ (compared to nation)|
|Musicians and Singers||1,768||1.22||1.03|
|Writers and Authors||1,327||1.17||0.92|
|Music Directors and Composers||590||1.19||1.21|
|Multi-Media Artists and Animators||574||1.09||0.88|
|Directors, Religious Activities||568||1.10||1.38|
|Public Relations Specialists||559||0.76||0.51|
|Architects, Except Landscape and Naval||426||0.93||0.72|
|Radio and Television Announcers||268||0.98||0.88|
|Producers and Directors||223||0.94||0.54|
|Commercial and Industrial Designers||215||1.45||1.10|
|Fine Artists including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators||204||1.19||0.94|
|Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes||195||1.12||0.87|
|Media and Communication Workers, All Other||174||0.96||0.74|
|Advertising and Promotion Managers||124||0.98||0.61|
|Audio and Video Equipment Technicians||123||0.84||0.52|
|Public Relations Managers||115||0.63||0.50|
|Set and Exhibit Designers||85||1.27||1.37|
|Film and Video Editors||55||0.82||0.57|
|Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture||49||0.73||0.45|
|Sound Engineering Technicians||33||0.90||0.45|
|Musical Instrument Repairers and Tuners||30||0.99||0.85|
|Media and Communication Equipment Workers, All Other||28||0.60||0.37|
|Craft Artisans **||453||1.32||not available|
Source: Economic Modeling Specialists, Inc. Complete Employment
* Data are available for 23 counties: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey.
** Craft Artisans are not included in the CVI’s standard set of creative occupations.
WESTAF. 2011. Creative Vitality Index. Courtesy of North Carolina Arts Council. Accessed from: https://cvi.westaf.org.