Economy White Paper Series
Exploring Today’s Most Important Economic Questions
The Center publishes White Papers on a wide variety of economic issues. Diverse in topic, these reports are intended to shed light on important economy-related debates and emerging trends. The Economy White Paper Series is produced entirely by the Center’s nationally renowned economists and researchers.
Not Like A Rolling Stone: Musician Migration Rates Muted During COVID; Interesting Regional Trends Emerge
This White Paper is part of the Center for Forecasting’s ongoing research about changing urban fortunes during the pandemic. The analysis examined a very specific labor market – musicians on Soundcloud – and found more musicians migrated to Stockholm, Sweden during the pandemic than to any other location. The top U.S. city, Philadelphia, appears 7th on the list of regions musicians moved to the most.
Overall, American cities performed relatively poorly with the bottom 11 cities on the list, which either lost musicians or remained flat, all located in the United States. “Part of the reason for the weaker results in U.S. metros may be due to repatriation,” said Patrick Adler, Research Manager at the Center for Forecasting, and the report’s author. “If migrants had previously moved to the U.S. from areas like Stockholm, Berlin, and Toronto, the pandemic might have motivated them to return.”
Regional differences aside, in the aggregate, the study finds that the pandemic did not drive musician migration to any great extent. Of 11,503 Soundcloud artists who qualified for the study, only 308 indicated that they moved to a new region between August of 2019 and October of 2020. “This is fully consistent with the view that technological changes that have swept other areas of the economy have been less profound for musicians, who have been using remote-friendly technology for longer,” said Adler.