Government statistics released today demonstrate that the UK’s creative industries continue to experience strong and resilient employment and export growth - outpacing the wider UK economy on both fronts. 

July 26, 2017


Government statistics released today demonstrate that the UK’s creative industries continue to experience strong and resilient employment and export growth - outpacing the wider UK economy on both fronts. 

The ‘design and designer fashion’ industry’s results looks particularly impressive with growth in service exports and employment outpacing the rest of the creative industries. 

The fast growth of this part of the sector should encourage the government to review their skills policy - in particular looking at the impact current schools’ interventions might have on sustaining growth (see our recent statement on the EBacc here).

Exports in services in ‘film, TV, radio and photography’ industry and ‘music, performing and visual arts’ also showed strong growth in the last year. Both sectors have raised concerns about their exporting potential once Britain has left the EU, which is the largest recipient of creative service exports. Issues include compromised access to European markets for audiovisual businesses and weakened protections for UK designs in the EU.  

In detail: 

EMPLOYMENT 

General 
The statistics released today showed that employment across the creative industries reached almost 2 million (1,958,000) in 2016. 

The sector now provides 6% of all UK jobs.

The total employed in the sector is up 5% from 2015 compared with growth of 1.2% in the UK workforce as a whole. This means that the growth of employment in the creative industries is four times that of the wider UK workforce. 

This growth is the continuation of a longer term trend - employment in the creative industries has risen by more than a quarter (25.4%) since 2011, compared with 7.6% in the full UK workforce. 

This sustained growth, outpacing the rest of the economy, may be in part because the sector is relatively unimpacted by automation: research has shown that it is difficult for robots to replace creative jobs. 

Self employment 
34.5% of people in all jobs in the creative industries, including supportive jobs, are self-employed. In our recent report, Creative Freelancers, we looked at how many in creative jobs in the sector were self-employed. That figure is higher at almost half. In the report we also explore the policy and growth barriers for this part of the workforce.  

EU 
6.7% working in the sector are from the EU (but not UK), which is roughly in line with the average across all industries. Almost 6% are from outside the EU (including the UK), which is above the proportion across all industries. 

However, done by the Creative Industries Federation and industry partners suggests there is significant variation across disciplines, locations and levels of performance: a UK Screen Alliance study has reported that 30% of vfx workers are non-UK EU, videogames body Ukie found that non-UK EU national accounted for between 20% and 30% of respondent workforces and the Royal Institute of British Architects has stated that 25% of the architects in the UK are non-UK EU citizens, for example. The Federation’s forthcoming paper on visas, immigration and the creative industries will interrogate the reason for this discrepancy and the value of international workforces in the sector.

Regional/national growth
Scotland saw the fastest growth in creative industries employment of all nations from 2015 to 2016, at 13%. This compares with -1.8% in Wales, -11% in Northern Ireland and 4.8% in England. The creative industries growth in Scotland is particularly notable as across all sectors employment in Scotland was reduced by 0.1% from 2015 to 2016. 

Scotland also saw the greatest growth in employment across the period 2011-2016 at 29.5% compared with 26.2% in England, 14% in Wales and -20% in Northern Ireland. 

Within England, the greatest growth in employment between 2015 and 2016 was seen in the North East, where employment grew by 12.1%. The West Midlands saw the greatest growth in employment across the period 2011 to 2016, at 47.8%. 

Growth in London’s creative industries continues to outpace general employment growth in the capital, up 8.3% from 2015 to 2016, compared to 4.7% employment growth across all industries in London. 

Employment by industry
The industry with the greatest growth in employment between 2015 and 2016 was design and designer fashion. This industry also had the greatest growth in employment between 2011 and 2016 (57.4%).

The creative tech industry (IT, software and computer services within the creative industries) now employs just over a third of those working in the creative industries. The second largest sub-sector in terms of employment is music, performing and visual arts at 14.9% of the sector, followed by media (film, TV, radio, photography) at 12.5% and advertising at 10.1%.   

Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation
Across the creative industries, BAME employment has risen by 14.9% between 2015 and 2016  outpacing growth of the white workforce (3.7%). This is also two and a half times the growth of BAME employment in the wider UK workforce. BAME employees now make up 12.6% of the creative industries workforce. 

In the film and TV sectors, BAME representation has jumped by 40%, and in the design and fashion sector numbers are up by almost 50%.

Our report on Creative Diveristy explored why the high number of creative industries in metropolitan centres like London means that in order to represent the communities the businesses are based in, the sector as a whole would have to be markedly more diverse. However, we see this continued growth of the BAME workforce as a step in the right direction. 

EXPORTS 

Note: DCMS has released experimental statistics on the exports of goods for the first time. The Federation will be analysing these results against existing information for the sector in order to judge their accuracy. In this release we focus on the service exports

General 
The creative industries exported £21.2bn of services in 2015 - rising 7.2% from 2014.  The total services exports increase across UK industries was 3.1%. Creative service exports have increased 44.3% since 2010 compared with a 29.5% increase in the UK’s service exports as a whole. In 2015, 9.4% of UK exports of services were from the creative industries. 

Growth by sector
All parts of the sector show service export growth between 2010 and 2015, with the design and designer fashion industry showing particularly strong growth of 53.5% between 2014 and 2015 and growth of 183.4% from 2010 to 2015. 

According to the new government statistics, publishing and advertising and marketing both showed drops in service exports from 2014 to 2015. However, both of these sectors have recorded significant growth since 2010 (42.1% for advertising and 60.8% for publishing) 

Markets
Europe continues to be the most important continent in terms of exports from the UK’s creative industries, with 45% of UK service exports in 2015 going to the EU and 57% to Europe overall. The USA was the single most important market, receiving 27% of global service exports. The sector has expressed concern that Brexit will significantly compromise our ability to trade in a frictionless manner with the European Union, as outlined in the Federation’s Brexit Report.



The creative tech industry (IT, software and computer services within the creative industries) now employs just over a third of those working in the creative industries. The second largest sub-sector in terms of employment is music, performing and visual arts at 14.9% of the sector, followed by media (film, tv, radio, photography) at 12.5% and advertising at 10.1%.   

Black, Asian and minority ethnic representation

Across the creative industries, BAME employment has risen by 14.9% between 2015 and 2016  outpacing growth of the white workforce (3.7%). This is also two and a half times the growth of BAME employment in the wider UK workforce. BAME employees now make up 12.6% of the creative industries workforce.

In the film and TV sectors, BAME representation has jumped by 40%, and in the design and fashion sector numbers are up by almost 50%.

Our report on Creative Diveristy explored why the high number of creative industries in metropolitan centres like London means that in order to represent the communities the businesses are based in, the sector as a whole would have to be markedly more diverse. However, we see this continued growth of the BAME workforce as a step in the right direction.

EXPORTS

Note: DCMS has released experimental statistics on the exports of goods for the first time. The Federation will be analysing these results against existing information for the sector in order to judge their accuracy. In this release we focus on the service exports

General

The creative industries exported £21.2bn of services in 2015 - rising 7.2% from 2014.  The total services exports increase across UK industries was 3.1%. Creative service exports have increased 44.3% since 2010 compared with a 29.5% increase in the UK’s service exports as a whole. In 2015, 9.4% of UK exports of services were from the creative industries.

Growth by sector

All parts of the sector show service export growth between 2010 and 2015, with the design and designer fashion industry showing particularly strong growth of 53.5% between 2014 and 2015 and growth of 183.4% from 2010 to 2015.

According to the new government statistics, publishing and advertising and marketing both showed drops in service exports from 2014 to 2015. However, both of these sectors have recorded significant growth since 2010 (42.1% for advertising and 60.8% for publishing)

Markets

Europe continues to be the most important continent in terms of exports from the UK’s creative industries (45%), with the US as the single most important market. The sector has expressed concern that Brexit will significantly compromise our ability to trade with the European Union, as outlined in the Federation’s Brexit Report.


 

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