The business of arts and culture contributed more than 16,000 jobs and $764.9 million in worker income to the Maine economy in 2014, according to statistics released Wednesday by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The report is the first from the bureau, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, to offer state-level data on jobs and compensation in the arts and culture sector. The bureau has been tracking national data in that sector for the past three years, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, said Thomas Dail, a public affairs specialist with the bureau.

“That number, nearly $800 million for employment, really jumped out at me,” said Julie Richard, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission. “I think it’s something we should be proud of.”

The overall number of arts and culture-related jobs in Maine – at nonprofit and for-profit organizations – decreased by 2.3 percent between 2013 and 2014, the report said. But that dip is part of a “roller coaster” trend in Maine, where arts and culture compensation goes up and down often, mirroring employment trends in other state business sectors, Richard said.

The number of people working in what the bureau defined as “core” arts and culture businesses, such as museums or performing arts companies, increased 1.2 percent and the total pay for those jobs went up by 4.9 percent. Jobs in “supporting arts and cultural production industries,” such as construction, publishing or rental companies, decreased about 3.4 percent and the compensation fell slightly, by less than 1 percent.

A fuller picture of the economic impact of Maine’s arts and culture businesses and organizations may be revealed in June, when two more studies are due out. A study from the New England Foundation for the Arts will include employment data, while one being done by Americans for the Arts will focus solely on nonprofit arts providers.

Nationally, the business of arts and culture grew for the third straight year in 2014, the most recent year for which data was available. Arts and culture-related economic activity increased 1.9 percent, when adjusted for inflation. It accounted for 4.2 percent of the gross domestic product that year, or $729.6 billion.

Arts and culture jobs increased nationally by 1.3 percent in 2014, about the same rate as in 2013. The total number of arts and culture-related jobs nationwide in 2014 was 4.8 million, or 3.3 percent of all jobs. The number of people working in industries that supported arts and cultural groups or events was about 3.58 million.

Wednesday’s report found that Maine had 16,112 full- and part-time arts and culture-related jobs, including 3,195 in core businesses and organizations. There was not a break down of how many were full time or part time, Dail said. The total compensation for Maine workers in arts and culture was listed at $764.9 million. Of that, about $157 million was compensation for people working in the core businesses, including jobs such as museum staff, actors, dancers, performing arts company staffers, agents, managers, marketers and designers. About $562 million was for people in industries supporting arts and culture business.

The report Wednesday did not rank the arts and cultural employment of each state. But it did list Washington, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Florida, in that order, as the states with the most growth in arts and culture employment between 2013 and 2014. All had more than 3 percent growth, with Washington’s growth at 5.7 percent.

Few past studies have measured the economic impact of arts and culture on Maine. Americans for the Arts conducts an economic impact study every five years focusing on nonprofit organizations, called “Arts & Economic Prosperity.” Its 2012 report included data from Portland, and a new study set to be released June 17 will include, for the first time, statistics for Maine overall.

The 2012 Americans for the Arts report found that nonprofit arts and cultural groups in Portland spent $26.5 million, including on salaries, supplies and rent. It also found that audiences, or consumers, spent about $22.6 million, including on concessions, meals, lodging, transportation and child care. Admission prices weren’t counted as audience spending in the study, but as revenue for the arts and culture businesses.

The 2012 report also said that Portland’s arts and culture sector supported 1,535 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $35.4 million in total household income. The sector contributed $2.8 million to local government revenue and $2.9 million to the state. The 2012 report used data collected with help from local arts and culture organizations, including financial and attendance information.

The federal report released Wednesday was based on economic data gathered every five years by the U.S. Census, Dail said.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 210-1183 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @RayRouthier

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.