New York boasts 300,000 creative workers, dominates the sector

For several decades, civic leaders and government officials who wanted to downplay the decline of manufacturing and the importance of Wall Street have been talking about New York City as the thriving center of the “creative economy.”

City Comptroller Scott Stringer is the latest to put numbers behind the concept in a report released Friday that 293,000 New Yorkers work in the creative economy, up 7% between 2008 and 2017. About 1 in five of those are freelancers. Wages are quite high too with the median wage for those employed by companies at $111,000 and the self-employed generating $75,000.

As is Stringer’s mission, the comptroller outlined a series of steps to help the creative sector thrive including better coordination of city agencies (the unfulfilled promise of so many officials for so long), efforts to combat wage theft to aid freelancers, better access to health insurance since 10% of the self-employed don’t have coverage) to name just three of a long laundry list.