The smallest Otis job category is art galleries, which suffered. The report identified 258 galleries in the two counties in 2010, down from 343 in 2007. L.A. County lost nearly 20% of its galleries — a rate of attrition eclipsed by Orange County's 41%. Employment was nearly halved over three years, from 1,500 jobs in the two counties to 800. Otis found that the average Los Angeles gallery employee makes $54,767; Orange County peers got $31,139.
Digital media, including software publishing and video game design and production, had robust earnings gains, with payrolls in the two counties up by a third, to $1.33 billion. Average pay rose to $135,612, but the number of workers fell slightly, from 10,100 to 9,800.
With employers cutting back, economists nationwide have said that self-employment may be the wave of the present and future. The Otis report identified 127,750 self-employed creative workers in the two counties in 2009, the most recent year available. That represents a modest increase from 122,214 self-employed people in 2006. The report notes that the total creative workforce can't be calculated by simply adding self-employed workers to those who work for companies, because there's an overlap. An undetermined but substantial number of creative workers divide their time between working for themselves and working for others.