The cultural industries have come to the forefront as the potential job creators of the future. However, building on the concentric circles model and production system view of the cultural industries, we pose that many young and small organizations in the industries lack the motivation, ability, and opportunity to become job creator. We reason that industry location crucially affects job creation expectations. Evidence from an international sample of early-stage entrepreneurs strongly supports this thesis. We identify a divide between entrepreneurs in the ‘core’ cultural industries vis-à-vis those in the ‘non-core’ cultural industries, where the latter group is indistinguishable from entrepreneurs in non-cultural industries in their job creation expectations. Simultaneously, those in the core cultural industries are distinct from others in their expectations to maintain the same number of jobs, rather than grow. These findings have important implications for cultural policy aimed at promoting employment growth in the cultural industries.