National Journal

During the recession, white and Asian-Americans in urban areas were more likely to retain their jobs in fields that typically require education,, such as those in science and technology, business, arts, design, media, and entertainment, an urban sociologist reports.

Richard Florida, a professor and founder of Atlantic Cities, writes extensively about the creative class, and in a recent post, he says, "Having a Creative Class occupation lowers an individual's probability of being unemployed." 

Far more vulnerable to cycles of unemployment are those in the service sector and in working-class positions, both of which are largely dominated by minorities.

Among racial and ethnic groups, about 34 percent of whites and half of Asian-Americans possess creative-class jobs. About 40 percent of Hispanics work in service jobs, and another 40 percent in working-class positions. About half of service jobs and a third of working-class jobs are filled by African-Americans.

Whites hold about 81 percent of the nation's creative-class jobs.

Florida refers to a TechCrunch story that explains the benefit of securing positions in occupations that incorporate creativity and education: "In a time of high unemployment, when traditional skills can be outsourced or automated, creative skills remain highly sought after and highly valuable. We all want to be part of the Creative Class of programmers, designers, and information workers. The term used to mean artists and writers. Today, it means job stability." 

This story is part of our Next America: Workforce project, which is supported by a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

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