January 2013

BLS Spotlight on Statistics: Media and Information

Audio Script

Media is a word that means many things, but generally refers to methods of storing and communicating information to large audiences. The media has been transformed significantly in recent decades as technological innovations have enabled more people in more places to obtain and share ever-increasing amounts of information easily and rapidly.

Here are some BLS data about media and information:

  • After growing for several years, employment in the information industry peaked at 3.6 million workers in 2000 and 2001, and it has declined every year since then.
  • The state of Washington, the District of Columbia, and the states of Colorado, New York, and California have the highest percentages of workers in the information industry. Compared to the nation as a whole, these areas have between 1.4 and 1.8 times more workers in the information industry.
  • Producers and directors have the highest annual wages among media-related occupations, followed by technical writers and multimedia artists and animators.
  • Over the 1998–2012 period, the consumer price indexes for cable and satellite television and radio service and admission to movies, theaters, and concerts both increased by over 50 percent.
  • Labor productivity has increased by a factor of 10 in wireless telecommunications carriers (except satellite) and by a factor of 6 in software publishers over the past two decades.
  • Watching television and attending movies and films were the two media-related activities that took the most time in 2011, among the people who engaged in those activities. While 78 percent of the population watched television on a typical day, only 1 percent of the population saw a movie or film.
  • Average annual household spending for Internet access has exceeded spending for newspapers and magazines every year since 2001.

To learn more, visit www.bls.gov/spotlight/2013/media/.


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