Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Services
The arts, entertainment and recreation sector has firms and establishments producing and selling fun. There are three categories of fun. In the first category, fun seekers are spectators who go to watch art and entertainment put on by theatre and dance companies, orchestras, music groups, sports teams, sports promoters, racetracks, and independent artists, writers, or performers.
In the second category fun seekers are lookers who go to look at art and entertainment in museums, zoos, nature parks, botanical gardens and historical sites. The emphasis in both of these categories is on live art and entertainment.
In the third category fun seekers go to participate in recreation at amusement parks, arcades, gambling casinos, golf courses, ski resorts, marinas, fitness centers, sports centers, ice rinks, swimming pools, bowling alleys, billiard parlors, day camps, riding stables and a few more.
Possibly the people lifting weights and sweating out in fitness centers are not having fun, but otherwise the 1.97 million people employed here are producing fun, lots of fun. The arts and entertainment parts have 539.9 thousand jobs as of 2012. Recreation jobs total 1.43 million, almost 70 percent of the jobs.
Among the participate jobs, fitness and recreation centers have the most jobs, 504.8 thousand, and the most growth 230.2 thousand since 1990. Golf courses are next with 342.4 thousand jobs, up 183.2 thousand since 1990. Everything else is growing except employment at bowling alleys, which is off 24.3 thousand, but especially gambling where gambling and casino employment has jumped from 33.7 thousand in 1990 to 128.2 thousand in 2012 but down from a high of 143.3 thousand in 2007. Another 262.8 thousand work at casino hotels, which brings gambling employment to 391.1 for 2012.
About 8 percent of jobs need college degree skills in arts, entertainment and recreation mostly in management and finance, but quite a few of the jobs in this sector have skills learned through practice and experience rather than classroom education: athletes, actors, dancers, singers and musicians, for example. Nothing prevents any of the people holding these jobs from having college degrees but the emphasis is on specialized skills, which is long-term on the job training in the BLS skills taxonomy.
All three of art, entertainment and recreation sub sectors have other specialty occupations. In recreation, gambling has nine gaming occupations including gaming manager and gambling supervisor but also slot key persons, gaming dealers, sports book writers and runners, gaming surveillance workers, gaming change persons and gaming cage workers with 67 thousand jobs in recreation and thousands more at casino hotels. Bureau of Labor Statistics discussion of gambling occupations warns their readers to be careful before thinking gambling jobs are “glamorous” jobs. Sure the “fun filled” atmosphere generates excitement, but work is long hours standing and there is noise from gambling machines and lots of tobacco smoke from agitated gamblers.
Fitness and aerobics instructors alone have more jobs than gambling with 154 thousand these jobs in recreation out of 232.5 thousand jobs in the whole economy. Diet and exercise are now regular business transactions and a source of employment, even though both are very much do-it-yourself services. People can walk in a park or walk on a treadmill; one is free, one is not. People can eat less or pay for pills, powders, supplements, diet books, diet plans, counseling and weight watchers.
Art, design and entertainment occupations have entertainers, performers, coaches and athletes working in 132.5 thousand jobs, although many of these jobs are also in the film, recording and broadcasting industries. Jobs include producers and directors, actors, musicians and singers, dancers and choreographers. Art and Entertainment has almost all the jobs as professional athletes, but only about 59.3 thousand jobs out of a total of 228.8 thousand jobs as coaches, scouts, umpires, referees and officials. A majority of coaches are paid positions at many schools and colleges where athletes are not considered employed.
Zoos and racetracks are part of art and entertainment where there are about 17.2 thousand jobs as animal trainer and animal care taker. Thousands work in entertainment related occupations like ushers, lobby attendants, ticket takers, and locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendants. Nearly 16 thousand tour guides and escorts work at museums and historic sites out of 30.8 thousand working in the entire economy.
With a 115.3 million jobs to divvy up art, entertainment and recreation employment gives us 1.97 million jobs and that is 1.47 percent of establishment employment. Arts, entertainment and recreation made steady job gains in the 1990’s, but did poorly in the 2002 and 2008-2010 recessions, but finished the 2000-2012 period with a gain of 177.5 thousand jobs.. Still, gains in good years add only 40 to 50 thousand new jobs; too small to help much with America’s job requirements. In the United States where a job is a requirement America needs a steady flow of new jobs to meet its requirement, but there are only 52.7 million jobs left to fill. We still need service!