Creative employment growing at twice Australian workforce

Published on Nov 19, 2018

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Advance Cessnock City recently supported an event at the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery called Art After Hours – Arty Party. It was an information and networking event for members of the creative industries and ran as part of Small Business Month.

The event was an opportunity to support an industry many might overlook as a significant contributor to both our local and national economy.

Octapod’s event ‘Arty Party’, recently held at the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery. Photograph courtesy of Justine Cogan.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics census data (2016), creative employment is growing at twice the rate of the Australian workforce. Creative industries employs 585,000 people or 5.6 percent of the total workforce. With the highest percentage of these, 39 percent, based in NSW.

But what are the creative industries?

The creative industries are divided into two broad areas; creative services and cultural production.

Creative services occupations include industries such as advertising and marketing; architecture and design; and software and digital content.

Cultural production occupations includes such sectors as film, television and radio; music and performing arts; publishing; and visual arts.

Creative occupations work both inside and outside the sector

From the 2016 census, creative industries directly employed nearly 405,000 people, 3.9 percent of the total Australian workforce. With 163,300 people employed in creative occupations (specialist creatives), the creative industries also provide employment to 1.5 times as many people in support roles.

An additional 180,850 people work in creative occupations in industries other than the creative industries, including finance, government, hospitality, education and manufacturing.

So what does someone in creative industries earn?

Although income levels in creative employment may vary greatly, employment in software and digital content has had consistent growth.

And when it comes to the local artists who came along to the Arty Party there is also positive news there. Although members of the visual arts are one of the lowest-income categories in the creative industries, between 2011 and 2016 the visual arts mean income grew at a faster rate than the mean of the total workforce.