Creative industry a powerful driver in UK economy

Creative Brits who saw their pay and job prospects slashed during the recession finally have something to celebrate. Research by the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has revealed that the country’s creative industries are undergoing an impressive employment boom.

Latest figures show that employment within the UK’s creative industries is increasing at more than twice the rate of the wider UK economy. Jobs within the creative industries increased by 5.5 per cent compared to the national 2.1 per cent rise in employment between 2013 and 2014, a total increase of 247,000 jobs since 2011.

Meanwhile the value of services exported by the UK’s creative industries in 2013 hit £17.9bn (€24.8bn), a rise of 3.5 per cent (£598m) on the previous year. But it was creative industry exports that showed the biggest advances, increasing by 34.2 per cent (around £4.5bn) between 2009 and 2013 – bettering the rest of the UK economy by almost 15 per cent.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale (pictured above, with DCMS permanent secretary Sue Owen) said: ‘These latest figures demonstrate how the UK’s creative industries continue to be one of our great success stories. It’s a fantastic sector, which now accounts for more than 1.8 million jobs in the UK… Our films, music and other artists are celebrated around the world and this government is determined to do what we can to ensure our creative industries continue to grow.’

Statistics released by DCMS analysed the number of jobs in the creative industries by geographical region, level of qualification, gender, and ethnicity. Results showed a modest increase to 10 per cent in the number of people identifying as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employed within the sector, placing it on an equal level with other UK industries.

Figures also showed that whilst women working in the museums and galleries, publishing, and performing and visual arts fields generally outnumbered their male colleagues, they were significantly under-represented in emerging, software and computer services. Read the full report here.