Jason Rapp

Pandemic impact to S.C. arts, creative sector totals $1.2B

Devastating numbers revealed in new report


A Brookings Institution report released this month says South Carolina’s arts and creative sectors lost $1.24 billion from April to July this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the report, “the COVID-19 crisis hits hard at arts, culture, and the creative economy” which includes industries like film, advertising, and fashion and the arts/creative sector occupations you would expect: musicians, artists, performers, and designers.”

From the report:

We estimate losses in sales of goods and services, employment, and earnings for creative industries and creative occupations at the national, state, and metropolitan levels over the period of April 1 through July 31, 2020.

  • Based on our creative-industry analysis, we estimate losses of 2.7 million jobs and more than $150 billion in sales of goods and services for creative industries nationwide, representing nearly a third of all jobs in those industries and 9% of annual sales. The fine and performing arts industries will be hit hardest, suffering estimated losses of almost 1.4 million jobs and $42.5 billion in sales. These estimated losses represent 50% of all jobs in those industries and more than a quarter of all lost sales nationwide.
  • Based on our analysis of creative occupations, we estimate losses of more than 2.3 million jobs and $74 billion in average monthly earnings for the creative occupations. These losses represent 30% of all creative occupations and 15% of total average monthly wages. Again, creative occupations in the fine and performing arts—which include the visual arts, music, theater, and dance—will be disproportionally affected, representing roughly a third of wage employment losses.


Southern states hit hardest

“While all regions, states, and metropolitan areas of the country will be seriously impacted, the effects of the COVID-19 crisis will hit some places harder than others. The South is estimated to suffer the most losses in employment for both the creative industries and creative occupations, followed by the West and the Northeast, respectively,” Brookings said.

South Carolina was 14th in percentage change in estimated cumulative losses in creative occupations, slightly above the national average of 30.3%.

In all, the report says South Carolina’s COVID-19 financial impact was $1.24 billion in cumulative revenues (sales) and a total loss of 32,161 jobs.

Click here to read a summary and download the report from Brookings.


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