Bridging the Opportunity Divide

Which Cities Have the Most Designers?

July 17, 2014
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Which Cities Have the Most Designers?
Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images
Creative jobs are no longer just an NYC or L.A. thing.

Move over techies and engineers, there is a new industry coming to Silicon Valley: Design.

Design is an integral part of the creative economy that gives artistic people a lucrative career option. Not only is the industry beneficial for the artistic economy, but it helps the overall economy as well. As of 2013, 625,000 people were employed in the design industry, with graphic design being the biggest sector followed by architecture. Interestingly, during the recession, the number of employed designers remained stable. And with the median income at $24.55 per hour, designers bring jobs and money to their communities.

New York City and Los Angeles aren’t the only destinations for designers anymore. Now, many are gravitating to Silicon Valley and other parts of the country as the designing industry gets a high tech upgrade.

According to data from the labor market data and research firm EMSI, as well as City Lab, there are more self-employed designers in San Francisco and San Jose, California, than anywhere else in the United States.

NYC and L.A. still do dominate the fashion industry, thanks to their fashion schools, stores and businesses. But the surprising holder of third place? Columbus, Ohio, which is home to DSW, L Brands and Abercrombie and Fitch.

However, when it comes to other design careers, urban areas other than the largest coastal cities are tops. Architects should head to Seattle, San Francisco, or even Boston. And graphic designers should look for employment in Minneapolis-St. Paul, which leads the field due to its strong marketing and advertising industry, and San Francisco.

 

To learn more about the key cities and what makes them leaders, click here.

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