The ‘Creative Class’ Revisited

Richard Florida showed us the earning power of the Creative Class. Ten years on we’ll ask him how the creatives are doing in tough times.

Creative Class share of the workforce is innovation, measured as patents per capita; high tech industry, using the Milken Institute's widely accepted Tech Pole Index. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Creative Class share of the workforce is innovation, measured as patents per capita; high tech industry, using the Milken Institute’s widely accepted Tech Pole Index. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

A decade ago, on the other side of two wars, an economic meltdown, and mass unemployment, economist Richard Florida made a big splash asserting the economic power and glory of what he dubbed the “creative class.”

A new social class, he said, of writers and dancers and artists, innovators in science and medicine, technology and media.Freelancers and free thinkers whose open minds were reshaping the world and firing up a lot of wealth.  Suddenly, every ambitious city and town wanted to be a creative class magnet.

Ten years on, how’s that all going?

This hour, On Point:  Richard Florida and the creative class, revisited.

-Tom Ashbrook


Richard Florida, author of the global best-seller The Rise of the Creative Class and Who’s Your City?

James K. Galbraith, teaches economics and a variety of other subjects at the LBJ School and University of Texas- Austin’s Department of Government.

From Tom’s Reading List

Atlantic “As bad as the overall economic situation may be, the creative class has in fact gotten off comparatively lightly. The creative class added nearly three million jobs between 2001 through 2010, growing jobs at a seven percent clip.”

American Prospect “Cities that shelled out big bucks to learn Richard Florida’s prescription for vibrant urbanism are now hearing they may be beyond help.”

City Journal “In his popular book The Rise of the Creative Class, which just appeared in paperback after going through multiple hardcover editions, Florida argues that cities that attract gays, bohemians, and ethnic minorities are the new economic powerhouses because they are also the places where creative workers—the kind who start and staff innovative, fast-growing companies—want to live.”


“Box of Rain” by The Grateful Dead

“Got Money” by Lil Wayne & T-Pain

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