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An Art in Itself

Managing your creative employees can be a challenge, but doing it well is crucial to your business.

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This story appears in the December 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The shrinking U.S. manufacturing sector exposes a maxim of the modern economy: The work we once did with our hands is done increasingly in our heads. The United States is transitioning into an idea economy where innovation is replacing industrialization, and creativity is the key to selling products and services.

Employees with a creative side are leading the way into the idea economy. About 38 million workers-roughly 30 percent of the work force-are employed in creative professions, and the number keeps growing, says Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class (Basic Books). Over the next decade, "we're going to see the 'creativization' of our entire economy," Florida says.

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