Creativity is a catalyst for business in Houston, contributing more than $9 billion to the local economy last year alone, according to a new study.

Officials from the Houston Arts Alliance, along with Mayor Parker and other champions of the arts revealed the findings of the study titled The Creative Economy of Houston at a press conference on Tuesday.

More than 150,000 people are employed by the creative industries in the 10-country region, an 8% increase over 2001. The study compared Houston's creative sector to that of peer cities such as Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Chicago and Philadelphia. While Houston trails those other cities in terms of raw number of creative jobs, the study found that Houston is growing jobs faster than any of the others (Dallas at 1% growth is the only other city of the six that is actually adding such jobs).

During the press conference, Mayor Parker praised the city's efforts to add to its creative industries. She said the report strengthens the idea of Houston as a strong place to live, work and play.

Last week, Forbes released its list of the "coolest cities to live in America" naming Houston No. 1. The city was praised in that report for its creative workforce as well as its multiculturalism and relatively strong economy.

Breakdown of the cities: Los Angeles has more than 880,000 creative workers; Chicago, 287,000; Dallas, 230,000; Philadelphia, 190,000; and Miami, 170,000.

For more on the study, read the Houston Chronicle report