UNT study: DFW creative economy is biggest in state, brings $34 billion to region

Monday, May 1, 2017 - 16:16

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- A newly released study by the University of North Texas shows that the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s creative industries are a boon to the local economy, jobs and taxes.

The region’s creative economies – the performing and visuals arts, music studios, museums and advertising agencies for example – contribute roughly $34 billion annually to the region, 205,000 in total jobs and $1.2 billion in state and local taxes. That’s according to the report from the Economics Research Group at UNT.

Michael Carroll, director of the Economics Research Group, said this is good news.

“It broadens our economic base and reduces the region’s risk in an economic downturn,” said Carroll. “Employment in the creative industries in the D-FW area grew by 9.1 percent in the period after the recession. Meanwhile, the national growth rate for creative economies was only 6 percent.”

And with employment numbers, the region beats other areas in the state¾by a lot.

“We often hear that Austin is the creative driver in the state, but by sheer volume, the DFW economy is the largest,” said Carroll.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the 205,000 jobs includes nearly 100,000 workers are directly employed in a creative field, while the Austin creative economy directly employs about 40,000. Additionally, the area’s creative economy is also among the largest nationwide. The $34 billion economic impact outstrips that of not only Austin, but also other metropolitan areas such as Houston, as well as entire states such as Ohio.

Carroll added, “Creative economies are helping to drive economic growth in the post-manufacturing U.S. Creative industries act as catalysts for urban redevelopment. These creative hotspots also act as a means for attracting educated, highly-skilled workers.”

The study cites areas of Dallas that have been revitalized into creative hotspots, thanks in part to the artists and musicians who lived in underdeveloped parts of the city years ago. Similarly in Fort Worth, museums helped create an anchor that transformed the city’s cultural district.

The full report is available online at https://economicsresearch.unt.edu/sites/default/files/DFW_CreativeIndustries%20final.pdf.


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