New report shows Black, Hispanic workers underrepresented in creative jobs

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
EQRoy / Shutterstock
Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

New report shows Black, Hispanic workers underrepresented in creative jobs

Workforce development nonprofits say more should be done to expand pathways into jobs in fashion, architecture and other creative fields.
May 6, 2021

Blacks and Hispanics make up the majority of the student bodies at arts-focused high schools in New York City – but they remain underrepresented in similar colleges and in the workforce, a new report finds. 

While Black workers make up about 20% of New York City’s workforce, they account for less than 10% of workers in fashion, architecture, creative goods such as pottery and furniture and similar industries, according to the report from workforce development nonprofits such as HERE to HERE, CareerWise New York, and DreamYard. Hispanic workers are also underrepresented in architecture, performing arts and entertainment, and digital media. 

This disparity comes despite the fact that Black and Hispanic students make up 76% of New York City high schools centered on the arts. This gap starts to show in comparable arts-focused colleges, such as Parsons School of Design, where they make up less than one-third of the student population.

The report argues that creating paths for city youth to get access to creative jobs should get similar attention to investments made to get students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, for example, so Black and Latino youth aren’t only limited to enter certain fields. 

It recommends that community organizations and high schools provide stronger education and awareness about the viability of jobs in the creative sector, and calls for additional funding for students from low-income families to access more arts programming. 

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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