Jul 24, 2015, 17:17

In my last blog about the Creative Class I imposed a very unscientific idea of exactly who those people are……folks who show up late for everything.

Going forward, I’ll use the far more grown-up definition used by the United Kingdom Office for National Statistics (ONS). They define the Creative Class as people engaged in “economic activities…concerned with the generation or exploitation of knowledge.” In 2015, the ONS grouped census-takers who fit that profile into 14 categories and studied their job growth between 2011 and 2013. Here’s what they found:

Job Growth in UK Creative Industry Sectors

My gut reactions to this data are:

  • With concert ticket prices at an all time high, live music must be the primary economic driver behind the growth in music.  Long live Ticketmaster.
  • Information technology outpaced every category in terms of volume. The marketplace continues to need smart people to navigate complicated operating systems to ensure some bell rings at the NSA whenever I use the word “Muhammad” in this blog.
  • Why isn’t “Consulting Services” included on this list? If we’re talking “exploitation of knowledge”, those guys invented the game.
  • Nobody reads books or goes to museums anymore; because that would require the slow, meaningful absorption of text that isn’t floating on a screen with music blaring underneath. Who’s got time?

Cynicism aside, this data is encouraging. It explains why Bill Gates once exasperatingly replied to a complaint about wealth distribution with, “We’re not all fighting over one limited pie. Global economics is NOT a zero-sum game.”

Here’s what Gates meant: Today – in the summer of 2015 – there is a limited amount of refined crude oil on the planet. That supply is limited therefore I must shell-out cash to keep my car going. That pie is finite today.  Fine.

But there is an unlimited supply of the commodity that drove mankind (and Daniel Day-Lewis) to discover all that crude oil in the first place…creative thought. And Bill Gates, who was having creative thoughts about computer operating systems while the rest of us were using typewriters, is the richest man on earth.

With 7 billion people in the world (and counting), the “creative thought” pie will never stop growing. Hence the sound of Bill Gates dropping the mic and strutting away.

In my next installment, I’ll give a fun example of how a group of creative brains, the fiat dollar and a North Carolina campground could make our pie a tiny bit bigger. Stay tuned.

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