Practically any activity that occupies a person’s leisure time, excluding the viewing of motion pictures and video rentals, is part of this industry.
The industry is characterized by a large number of seasonal and part-time jobs and relatively young workers. About 40 percent of all workers have no formal education beyond high school. Rising incomes, more leisure time, and growing awareness of the health benefits of physical fitness will increase the demand for arts, entertainment, and recreation services. Earnings are relatively low.
The live performances or events segment of the industry includes professional sports, as well as establishments providing sports facilities and services to amateurs. Commercial sports clubs operate professional and amateur athletic clubs and promote athletic events. All kinds of popular sports can be found in these establishments, including baseball, basketball, boxing, football, ice hockey, soccer, wrestling, and even auto racing. Professional and amateur companies involved in sports promotion also are part of this industry segment, as are sports establishments in which gambling is allowed, such as dog and horse racetracks and jai alai courts.
The historical, cultural, or educational exhibits segment includes privately owned museums, zoos, botanical gardens, nature parks, and historical sites. Publicly owned facilities are included in sections on Federal, State, or local government elsewhere in the Career Guide. Each institution in this segment preserves and exhibits objects, sites, and natural wonders with historical, cultural, or educational value.
The recreation or leisure activities segment includes a variety of establishments that provide amusement for a growing number of customers. Some of these businesses provide video game and gaming machines for the public at amusement parks, arcades, and casinos. Casinos and other gaming establishments offering off-track betting are a rapidly growing part of this industry segment. This segment also includes amusement and theme parks, which range in size from local carnivals to multiacre parks. These establishments may have mechanical rides, shows, and refreshment stands. Other recreation and leisure-time services include golf courses, skating rinks, ski lifts, marinas, day camps, gocart tracks, riding stables, waterslides, and establishments offering rental sporting goods.
[ Excerpted from Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2008-09 Edition - Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation ]