How Children’s Museums Impact US Employment

Museums and other institutions affect jobs within their walls and beyond.

by John VoiklisKate FlinnerJohn Fraser
Oct 9, 2018

Key Findings

In a study of the economic impact of children’s museums in 2018, we found these institutions create jobs both in the museum sector and in other industries. Across the United States, children’s museums supported over 55,000 jobs. Of those jobs, more than 40% were outside of museum walls, in the businesses that produce goods and services purchased by children’s museums. Spending by children’s museums employees also supported jobs in other industries. This research showed how museum spending is related to job creation, how children’s museums’ employment and spending practices contribute to job growth, and how these institutions affect jobs in other sectors.

Let’s Put It to Work

For leaders of children’s museums - Ultimately, this research will help children’s museums tell the story of how they increase jobs in their communities, regions, and nationwide. Alongside outcomes in learning and community cohesion, employment outcomes are powerful evidence of the critical role children’s museums play in their regions.

For leaders of other institutions - When appealing to funders, institutions that focus on learning often focus on telling vivid stories of their impacts on visitors. And these stories typically focus on what happens inside the institution. This research shows that there is an important, broader story that institutions can tell about impacts in their town or city, region, and beyond.

In partnership with the Association of Children’s Museums, Knology produces ACM Trends, an ongoing series of small studies to help children’s museums professionals use data to manage resources, develop offerings, and experiment with new ideas in ways that best serve their communities. With more than 460 members in 50 states and 19 countries, the Association of Children’s Museums is the world’s foremost professional society supporting and advocating on behalf of children’s museums. The ACM Trends series explores children’s health and learning, institutional operations, innovations in museum practice, and more. Individual publications and a subscription to the series can be purchased from the Association of Children’s Museums. This report was part of an ACM Trends special volume on the economic impacts of children’s museums, which was supported in part through Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant #MG-21-17-0042-17.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Join the Conversation
What did you think of this? How did you use it? Is there something else we should be thinking of?
Support research that has a real world impact.