The share of the Working Class or what Marx dubbed “the proletariat” surged to more than sixty percent of the US workforce in the 1880s and it didn’t fall below 50 percent until the years immediately following World War II, when it began to decline steadily, falling to forty percent in 1970, thirty percent by 1990, and roughly twenty percent today. These blue-collar Working Class jobs include all blue-collar physical work, including construction, transportation and maintenance. Workers who directly produce things in factories account for just six percent of the workforce and are expected to decline even further over the next decade to around five percent


This article draws from material in chapter three of The Rise of the Creative Class Revisited released by Basic Books on June 26th. Richard Florida is a professor at the University of Toronto and NYU and senior editor of The Atlantic.

The creative class makes up about a third of the U.S. workforce. Its 41 million members — who include knowledge workers in science, technology, innovation and engineering; business, healthcare and legal professionals; and arts, music, design, media and entertainment — earned more than $70,000 per year on average in 2010, accounting for roughly half of all U.S. wages. Creative class workers earned more than double the $30,000 average that America’s nearly 60 million routine service workers did, and twice the $34,000 that the 26 million members of the blue-collar working class earned on average.


The Cities Where Creative Class Workers Are More Segregated From Everyone Else

Richard Florida April30, 2014


US$2.2 trillion worldwide in 2000 and growing at an annual rate of 5 per cent. The notion is and remains a very broad one as it embraces not only cultural goods and services, but also toys and games and the entire domain of “research and development” (R&D). Therefore, while recognizing cultural activities and processes as the core of a powerful new economy,

Three years later, evidence shows that the creative economy is an ever-stronger driver of development. Figures published by UNCTAD in May 2013 show that world trade of creative goods and services totaled a record US$ 624 billion in 2011 and that it more than doubled from 2002 to 2011; the average annual growth rate during that period was 8.8 per cent. Growth in developing-country exports of creative goods was even stronger, averaging 12.1 per cent annually over the same period. …

From The UNESCO Special Creative Economy report 2013


Is beginning to study the importance of its own creative economy and to look at ways to strengthen it for the future.

According to a 2015 study by The Regional Alliance for a Creative Economy in Upstate New York, the Capital Region has the second highest concentration of creative jobs among metropolitan regions of similar size