When it comes to gainful employment among musicians, the assessment is mostly bleak. Here’s a breakdown recently offered by RIAA chief Cary Sherman, based on US Department of Labor Statistics.
Even worse, the top-level number of employed musicians is relatively tiny (and always has been). But what if Sherman and the recording industry are focusing on the wrong numbers, while ignoring data related to independent, non-label dependent musicians? That’s a question recently raised by Techdirt, whose Mike Masnick re-plunged into the Department of Labor data to make the case that artist employment and welfare is actually much better than ten years ago.
Let’s see: overall, BLS counted 50,600 employed musicians and performers back in 2003, a number that drops 16.8 percent to 42,100 (see graph above).
October 10th, 2012: “Musicians Are Better Off Than Ever Before In History. And Here’s Proof…“
This is a very small number of musicians actually paying for meals from their music, but there’s also this: the ranks of employed independent artists are multiplying, with smaller base numbers but far greater expansion.
In fact, the growth has been more than 500% over the past then years or so…
Small numbers now, but potentially massive numbers ahead.
Written while listening to BT, Markus Shulz and Chief Keef on wooden LSTN headphones.