Otis College President Samuel Hoi takes notes during a discussion about the creative economy at Google's YouTube space in L.A.
How much is "creativity" worth in the Los Angeles region?
Otis College of Art and Design has been analyzing what it calls the “creative economy” of Los Angeles and Orange Counties for the past six years.
Its latest report says creative industries employed 341,500 people directly in 2011 in the two counties and supported another 323,000 jobs indirectly. The creative economy generated more than $3.3 billion in state and local tax revenues last year, according to the report.
The entertainment industry remains the brightest star. Last year, it employed more than 120,000 people and brought in $51 billion. But the report also highlights the importance of design industries like fashion, furniture and architecture.
"We have entered an age of ideas that emphasizes originality that cannot easily be outsourced," said Otis College President Samuel Hoi. "We are in a new economy that demands a creative and skilled workforce. "
The report shows employment in creative industries fell significantly during the recession, and outsourcing played a role. The fashion and furniture industries lost the most jobs, as their manufacturing operations moved to other countries.
The manufacturing jobs may be gone for good, but other creative sectors like digital media are starting to create new ones. The Otis report was released in a location that underscored that trend: Google's new YouTube production facility in Los Angeles.
"When YouTube was first acquired, L.A. was not in particular a meaningful market for YouTube Channels," said Liam Collins, who heads the YouTube facility. "That’s obviously changed. Now it’s one of the biggest markets. "
The report projects creative employment in Los Angeles and Orange counties will total 355,500 jobs by 2016, up by 4.1 percent (14,000 jobs) from 2011 levels. That's a stark contrast to the 14 percent decline in creative employment (55,400 jobs) that the region suffered between 2006 and 2011.
Read the full report: