YouTube study: 'Creator economy' supports equivalent of 394,000 full-time US jobs

The study also finds that the video service's "creative ecosystem" contributed $20.5 billion to the US gross domestic product last year.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
Expertise Streaming video, film, television and music; virtual, augmented and mixed reality; deep fakes and synthetic media; content moderation and misinformation online Credentials
  • Three Folio Eddie award wins: 2018 science & technology writing (Cartoon bunnies are hacking your brain), 2021 analysis (Deepfakes' election threat isn't what you'd think) and 2022 culture article (Apple's CODA Takes You Into an Inner World of Sign)
Joan E. Solsman

YouTube has more than 2 billion monthly users. 


YouTube released a study Wednesday saying that the "creator economy" spurred by its massive video service supports the equivalent of 394,000 full-time jobs in the US and contributed $20.5 billion to the US gross domestic product last year. The study, conducted by independent advisory firm Oxford Economics, was commissioned and paid for by YouTube

For context, the entire US workforce had 124 million actual full-time workers at the end of 2020, according to the US government's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The US total gross domestic product in 2020 was about $21 trillion, according to the US government's Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

Google-owned YouTube, which has at least 2 billion monthly users, is the world's biggest online video operation. 

The study also disclosed internal YouTube data that more than 38,000 US channels had at least 100,000 subscribers and that more than 5,000 channels had at least 1 million subscribers as of the end of last year. 

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