The creative class did better in the economic crisis while members of the working class were more likely to be unemployed.

Life_Preserver_Artistic_SmallThe economic crisis of 2008 left millions of Americans out of work. Even though the job market has been slowly improving lately, employment levels remain considerably below where they were before the crisis. And the effects of the crisis have fallen unevenly on different kinds of workers and different kinds of places.

I took a close look at this in a recent study, “The Creative Class and the Crisis” published recently in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society (an ungated working paper version is here), with my colleagues Charlotta Mellander of the Martin Prosperity Institute and Todd Gabe, an economics professor at the University of Maine. Our research examined how workers in three broad types of jobs — knowledge-based creative class jobs (in science and technology; business and the professions; and arts, design media, land entertainment) lower-skill routine service jobs (in food preparation and retail sales for example), and routine working-class jobs (in manufacturing, transportation and construction) — have fared since the apex of the economic crisis. The study covered the period 2006 through 2011, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey for both individuals and metro regions.

The crisis hit hardest at blue-collar workers, while creative class workers and metros with higher shares of creative class jobs fared considerably better. The unemployment rate for creative class workers, which was 1.9 percent in 2006 before the crisis, increased to just 4.1 percent in the years following the recession’s official end — an increase of 2.2 percentage points. The unemployment rate for workers in blue-collar jobs increased from from 6.5 percent before the onset of crisis to 14.6 percent at its end, more than three times higher than that for creative class workers and a jump of more than 8 percentage points. The unemployment rate for workers in routine service jobs increased from 5 percent to 9.3 percent at its end, more than double that for creative class workers a 4.3 percent jump.

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Source: Richard Florida | The Atlantic