The annual report on the impact of the arts is out from the National Endowment for the Arts and U.S. Department of Commerce. New Data Show Economic Activity of the U.S. Arts & Cultural Sector in 2021. The analysis finds that while the total economic value added by arts and cultural industries grew by 13.7 percent from 2020-2021, several core arts industries did not return to pre-pandemic production levels. The report states, “This group includes independent artists (as an industry), performing arts organizations (e.g., theater, dance, and opera companies, music groups; and circuses), and arts-related construction, among many others.” According to the new data,
- The overall arts economy in 2021 represented 4.4 percent of GDP, or more than $1.0 trillion — a new high water mark.
- In 2021, just under 4.9 million workers were employed to produce arts and cultural goods and services. That is less than the 2019 (pre-pandemic) level of 5.2 million, but more than the 2020 level of 4.6 million workers.