According to new statistics from the US Department of Labor, nearly one In 1,000 Americans is a working musician.
The Department of Labor counted 269,400 working musicians in 2010. When you match that up against the latest US Census population figure -- 308,745,538 people -- it means that one in 1,146 American adults is either flying from arena to arena in a private Boeing 720 with a bar, shower room, TV and white fur bedroom (like Led Zeppelin circa 1973) or just scraping by on low-paying gigs at assorted dives and back yards.
The figures include musicians, singers, composers, musical directors and similar endeavors.
More Labor stats from 2010:
Number of 'Musicians, Singers and Related Workers': 269,400
Subset of 'Musicians and Singers': 176,200
Subset of 'Music Directors and Composers': 93,500
Median Hourly Salary, Musician/Singer: $22.39
Median Hourly Salary, Director/Composer: $22.10
Also, according to the Labor statistics, jobs among musicians have grown since 2000, a big surprise considering the latest recession (and all the mini-recessions before and after it).
For more information (and a nice chart), check out Digital Music News.