Shock & Awe From the Shock & Roll Creative Economy Report Of April 2022: The Inland Empire Has Lots of Catching Up To Do

By: Sharjeel Sohaib

• 

Apr 30, 2022

 • 

According to a new analysis released by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, the Creative Economy (CE) in California that houses industries such as entertainment, media, fashion, and fine arts has weathered the pandemic and, as a whole, has done better in its recovery from the COVID-driven recession than the overall economy.

California’s CE has been an economic growth center for the region. However, COVID-19 compounded the long-term challenges as well as a series of interrelated problems. Also, the growth of CE throughout the state is not uniform. It is geographically centered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“The creative economy is the part of the economy that tells our stories and the creative works we leave behind as a society are likely to define how future generations understand us”.

The Future of the
Creative Economy | A report by Deloitte

Shock and Roll: California’s Creative Economy from 2015 – 2021

Shock and Roll: California’s Creative Economy from 2015 to 2021 is a report that looks at patterns in the state’s creative sectors before, during, and after the economic recession. There was a significant increase in the improvement of the state’s economy in Northern and Southern California. However, Riverside County and San Bernardino County are the ones that noticed less growth as compared to other counties. Only Contra Costa County trails behind Riverside and San Bernardino.

Table 1- Creative Economy concentration in Northern CA and Southern CA (2021)

Graph Of The Share Of Creative Economy In California
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; Analysis by UCR Center for Economic Forecasting and Development

2021 Creative Economy of the Inland Empire

The Inland Empire employs more than 5% of creative sector contract employees and 3% of wage and pay workers.

The creative industries employ 2% of the region’s overall workforce. With 42 percent of pay and salary employment, Creative Goods and Products is the largest industry in the area because of the high presence of manufacturing. Contract work in the entertainment and digital media industries accounted for 72 percent of all contract work. Wage and pay employment climbed 22% over five years, whereas contract work increased 21%.

Fine and Performing Arts rose the most in the last five years among both wage and pay workers (36%) and contract workers (36%) (40 percent). In the Creative Goods and Products sector, both contract and wage and salary employees saw significant growth: contract workers saw a 25% increase, while wage and salary workers had a 14% increase. While Entertainment & Digital Media was the only industry to decrease the pay and salary of workers (-2%), fashion was the only sector to see a decrease in contract workers (-2%). (-2 percent ).

Why San Bernardino and Riverside County Lag Behind Other Counties? 

Job growth in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties has outpaced the state for personal care, administrative support, and professional business services. Other industries such as health care and social assistance services have also grown faster in other counties compared to Riverside and San Bernardino. 

While the creative economy is concentrated in major urban areas, it has spread throughout California. This is particularly true in Southern California, where San Bernardino and Riverside counties have a small but growing creative workforce that accounts for 14% of all creative jobs in the region.

However, for all its economic might, the creative sector has failed to keep pace with other industries in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. This can be attributed to three main factors:

  1. The limited access to information regarding the creative economy and its potential benefits.
  2. The lack of knowledge regarding how the creative economy works.
  3. The need for more investment in education and training programs.

In addition, there is no single agency or organization in San Bernardino or Riverside County that is solely focused on developing a comprehensive strategy for building a robust local creative ecosystem.

Subsectors of the Creative Economy

  • Architecture and Related Services
  • Fashion
  • Creative Goods and Products (CGP), exclusive of Fashion
  • Entertainment
  • Fine Arts, including Performance and Artistic Institutions
  • Media, including Digital Publishing

Composition of California’s Creative Economy

Fig 1- Employment, Wages, and Establishments across Major Sectors (2021)

Employment, Wages, And Establishments Across Major Sectors (2021
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; Analysis by UCR Center for Economic Forecasting and Development

Three Reasons Inland Empire’s Creative Economy has Catching Up to do

  1. Limited access to information regarding the creative economy and its potential benefits.
  2. The lack of knowledge regarding how the creative economy works.
  3. The need for more investment in education and training programs.

The graph below shows that both San Bernardino and Riverside counties have a lot of catching up to do before their creative economy can compare well with other counties of California.

Table 2- : Total creative employment change in key counties (2015 – 2021)

U.s. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Census Of Employment And Wages
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages; Analysis by UCR Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

Takeaways

  • A key takeaway is that Inland Empire has a lot of catching up to do before it can compete well with other counties of the state.
  • The overall economy of the region also plays a vital role in the growth of creative professions. Thus, the numbers and figures show that there’s a lot that different stakeholders of the region can do to boost the creative economy.

You can access and download the complete report at the link below.

Shock and Roll: California’s Creative Economy from 2015 – 2021

Author

  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.

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