Creative jobs outgrow UK economy average


Employment in the UK creative industries is growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as whole, according to latest official statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The number of jobs in the UK's creative industries rose by 5 per cent in 2016, compared to the 1.2 per cent increase in the wider UK workforce. Almost 2m people are now employed in the UK's creative organisations, with a wider number making up the creative economy which also includes creative roles in non-creative organisations.

Source: DCMS Sector Estimates: Employment & TradeJuly 2017.



The UK creative industries, including ICT, attracted 558 Foreign & Direct Investment Projects in 2015/6 - an increase of 15 per cent over the previous period, with the number of associated jobs rising by 7 per cent from 13,590 to 14,556.

Source: Inward Investment Report 2015/16, Department for International Trade.

Published: September 2016.



The creative economy added new jobs at more than twice the UK economy average and creative exports grew more than four times faster, according to new official statistics. Download infographics.

Total employment in the UK creative economy - the sum of jobs in the creative industries plus creative occupations in other industries - rose by 5.1 per cent in 2015 to 2.9m. Within the creative industries specifically, the number of jobs rose by 3.2 per cent to 1.9m.

By comparison, average UK employment only rose by 2 per cent during the same period.

The value of services exported by the UK creative industries rose by 10.9 per cent to total £19.8bn in 2014.

Across the UK economy as a whole, the value of all service exports rose by a more modest 2.3 per cent during the same period.

Creative services now account for 9 per cent of all UK service exports - a higher figure than the contribution the creative industries make to the domestic economy (5.2 per cent).  

Source: Creative Industries: Focus on Employment, DCMS.

Published: July 2016.


creative media staff hit education record

The latest edition of the Creative Media Workforce Survey has recorded the highest level of education, with 78 per cent of respondents possessing degrees and 27 per cent educated to post-graduate level.

Among BAME and women respondents the figures were even higher at 83 per cent and 81 per cent. In the general UK workforce, an average of 32 per cent of people have undergraduate degrees.

The survey also showed that 56 per cent of creative media respondents found current or recent roles informally and 77 per cent had done unpaid work experience.

Almost 5,000 responses were gathered from media industries including TV, film, radio, visual effects, games, animation and cinema exhibition. The survey has been conducted by Creative Skillset in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2010.

Published: May 26, 2015.



Nesta has created a series of interactive data visualisations of the UK creative economy. This includes visualisations of who hires creatives, a geographical map of the creative industries and a visualisation of the creative economy workforce.



Creative Skillset Employment Census 2012


The 2012 Employment Census of the UK’s creative media industries provides a snapshot of those working on 4 July 2012. 

832 UK companies participated in this important piece of research, which covers television, radio, animation, facilities, interactive media, computer games, VFX, corporate production and film. It excludes freelancers who were not working on Census Day and does not include freelancers in film production.

 Key findings are:

  • Total employment in the UK's creative media industries has grown by more than 4,000 since 2009 (from 188,150 to 192,200). This represents a 2 per cent increase in employment. This is significant when viewed in the context of the wider economic climate, which saw less than 1 per cent increase in employment across the rest of the UK economy. 
  • Representation of women has increased from 53,750 in 2009 to 69,590 in 2012. Women represented 36 per cent of the total workforce in 2012 compared to 27 per cent in 2009. This reverses the previous decline seen between 2006-2009. 
  • Representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people (BAME) has declined further since the last Census. Almost 2,000 BAME people have left the industries since 2009, reducing the representation to just 5.4 per cent of the total workforce.
  • Overall, the proportion of the workforce described by their employers as disabledhas remained the same since 2006, at 1 per cent. This is significantly lower than the proportion reporting themselves as disabled in Creative Skillset's 2010 Creative Media Workforce Survey, in which 5.6 per cent of the workforce reported they have a disability.
  • Levels of employment have increased in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the South East and the South West of England.
  • 24 per cent of the workforce is freelance, which is the same as 2009. Freelancing is most prevalent in those areas most closely involved in the production process.

Read the full report here