Main Datasets

(1) Current Population Survey (CPS)

(2) American Community Survey (PUMS), 2012-2016 (ACS)

(3) Contingent Workers Survey (CWS)

(4) Occupation Employment Survey (OES)


U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Target Population

Artists and Cultural Workers

Notable Features


  • Employment and unemployment
  • Workers holding second jobs


  • In-depth demographic and economic characteristics of workers


Characteristics of contingent workers and workers who have alternative work schedules, including self-employed workers


Detailed data on wages and earnings of workers on payrolls

Example Findings

Increasingly, artists are becoming a larger share of the U.S. labor force.

In 2006, artists constituted 1.42 percent of all workers. In 2007 and 2008, that share inched up to 1.46 percent.

Then, coinciding with the severe U.S. recession of 2007-09 (and its long aftermath), the number of artists, as a share of the labor force, softened, and then dipped sharply—in 2011, artists were just 1.41 percent of all U.S. workers.

By 2013, however, a reversal was well underway. In that year, artists again composed 1.44 percent of the labor force. Their share continued to climb, and by 2016 and 2017, it reached 1.55 percent.