New book looks at the race and gender composition of the creative class. The findings, while not completely surprising, reflect the intersection of these three major fault-lines of American life.

The following post is an abridged excerpt from Richard Florida’s new book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited.

Blue-BodiesWhen I first wrote Rise of the Creative Class, I looked at the creative class as one whole unit. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, I wasn’t able to look inside this new class and how it might vary by race and gender. Over the ensuing decade, to the best of my knowledge, no one else did either. So when I got around to writing the revised edition of the book, Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited, I decided to take a look. With the help of my colleague Charlotta Mellander, we used the American Community Survey to look at the race and gender composition of the creative class. The findings, while not completely surprising, reflect the intersection of these three major fault-lines of American life.

A number of commentators have argued that women are better suited to the kinds of work demanded by the knowledge economy. Indeed, it is true that women make up the slight majority of the creative class, accounting for 52 percent of its members. It’s also true that a greater fraction of employed women hold creative class jobs (37.1 percent) than employed men (32.6 percent).

But Mellander and I found that creative class men earn about 40 percent more than creative class women—$82,009 versus $48,077—a gap of nearly $35,000. Some of this can be explained by differences in work experience, skills, education, and longer work hours. But even when we control for these factors, creative class men still outearn creative class women by a substantial $23,700—nearly 50 percent of the average salary for creative class women.

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Source: Richard Florida | The Atlantic