Kimberly Ritter, one of the economists who compiled the report, said the result for Orange County — an average salary of $36,161 for visual and performing arts workers — gives "a better idea of what the rank and file is getting." Orange County has no major film and television producers or record labels cutting big checks for big names. Nonprofit organizations do most of the hiring, and although average pay was up 7.6% over 2007, it was less than a fifth the L.A. County average. Meanwhile, O.C.'s visual and performing arts workforce was slashed nearly a third between 2007 and 2010, falling to 2,400.
Within the visual and performing arts category for the two counties, there were 10,200 "independent artists and writers" in 2010, down from 10,400 in 2005, the year for which more detailed job description analyses were available. However, agencies and management companies that handle those artists and writers saw their ranks increase 38.3% over the five years, to 6,500. Employment took a hit among musical groups, falling from 4,400 to 3,000. Theater companies saw an increase from 2,200 workers to 2,700; fluctuations were slight for museums (4,000 employees in 2010) and dance companies (200 employees).