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Has There Been a 41% Drop in Musicians?

During a global economic recession, one would expect to see non-essential professions - such as those in the entertainment industry - to suffer job losses more than other, more critical professions such as, I don't know, doctors, teachers and janitors. But a 41% drop? Seems a bit unbelievable. But that's the percentage of musicians lost since 1999, according to RIAA CEO Cary Sherman. ArsTechnica journalist Matthew Lasar found this number a bit surprising as well, and conducted an investigation of his own to get to the facts behind the number. His conclusion? It depends. But it is more likely that we've had an 8.4% decline in musicians since 1999 - a number more in line with current unemployment statistics.

"8.4 percent, I'm sure most readers will agree, is a long way from 41 percent." But after going back and forth with RIAA representatives to validate the numbers, Lasar points out that ultimately it depends on how you (cherry) pick the numbers.
"It would be irresponsible for me to conclude...the US has seen a decline in musicians and singers of 'only' 8.4 percent. Equally dubious is the assertion that the drop came to 41 percent...not to mention the assertion that the fall...can be clearly linked to illegal downloads."








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