A report from the National Endowment for the Arts sheds light on the photography industry’s contribution to the US economy. The report breaks down data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), revealing that the arts overall contributed more to the US economy than warehousing, agriculture, and transportation at $763.6 billion.
Photography and photo-finishing services in particular contributed $10.2 billion of that in 2015, with the industry experiencing a 2.9% average annual growth from 2012 to 2015. The industry’s total production, according to the NEA, were 97.7% made up of arts and cultural goods.
The arts industries as a whole employ 4.9 million people across the nation, and they boast a positive trade balance of $20 billion. Further breaking down the numbers, the NEA says the arts added 4x more to the nation’s economy than agriculture, also exceeding warehousing and transportation by $200 billion. Jewelry, movies, and television fueled the trade surplus, while web publishing and streaming, architectural service, performing arts, and design saw the fastest growth.
The National Endowment for the Arts offers a tool for viewing the economic contributions of each art industry individually.