Longer-term changes in jobs and economic impact of the arts and culture
Data analysis of the first half of each year from 2012 to 2022
Over the past decade, the number of jobs and the impact on GDP of the arts and culture have increased, despite the lingering impacts of the pandemic. This post also examines specific areas of the arts.
This is the last of three posts examining the latest statistics from Statistics Canada’s National Culture Indicators, which relate to the second quarter of 2022 (i.e., April through June). The first post related to quarterly data on jobs and the second to the direct economic impact on Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In today’s post, the graphs relate to estimates of the number of jobs (including both full-time and part-time positions, not on a full-time-equivalent basis). I also provide a written analysis of changes in Gross Domestic Product (or direct economic impact, a measure of net value-added to the economy). The GDP estimates have been adjusted for inflation but not population growth.
Both sets of statistics cover just the first half of each year, in order to offer the closest possible comparison with the most recent data (i.e., the first half of 2022). The GDP estimates are therefore roughly one-half of their yearly totals, but the jobs estimates are similar to their yearly averages.
I analyze the jobs and GDP estimates between 2012 and 2022 for:
Film and video
The above five sectors combined, which provides our best estimate of the arts as a whole
The overall cultural sector, encompassing the arts, culture, and heritage
Visual and performing arts
While jobs in both the visual arts and the performing arts increased from 2012 to 2022, both sectors saw higher jobs levels in another year in the past decade.
The number of jobs in the visual arts was relatively stable through most of the 2010s, except for an odd one-year peak in the first half of 2013. In the first half of 2022, there were exactly the same number of jobs (46,900) as in the first half of 2019. This represents a 3% increase from the first half of 2012 (45,600). The teal line in the graph below shows these changes.
Between the first halves of 2012 and 2022, the visual arts saw a 15% increase in its net impact on GDP (from $1.5 to $1.8 billion, after adjusting for inflation).
Before the pandemic, the number of jobs in the performing arts increased by 24% between the first half of 2012 (55,400) and the first half of 2019 (70,900). The long-lasting, pandemic-induced decrease reduced the number of jobs to an average of 65,000 in the first half of 2022. Thanks to a bounce back in the first half of 2022 compared with 2021, the most recent estimate was 17% above the level in 2012. The light purple line in the graph below shows these shifts.
While there was a substantial increase in jobs in the performing arts between the first halves of 2012 and 2022 (17%), there was essentially no change in its net impact on GDP ($1.2 billion in the first halves of both years).
Visual arts = my combination of four Statistics Canada subdomains: crafts + original visual art + art reproductions + photography
Live performance (a Statistics Canada domain) = performing arts subdomain + cultural festivals and celebrations subdomain
Book publishing, film & video, and sound recording
The number of jobs in film and video has soared since 2015, but there have been decreases in the number of jobs in both book publishing and sound recording since 2012.
Because of methodological changes, Statistics Canada indicates that the statistics for film and video after 2015 are not comparable to prior statistics. Since the first half of 2015, the number of jobs in film and video increased every year except 2020. The average in the first half of 2022 was 47% above the level in the same period of 2015. The top line in the graph below shows this strong increase.
Between the first halves of 2015 and 2022, the net GDP impact of film and video increased by an impressive 44% (the largest of any subsector in this post, even with a shorter timeframe). The subsector’s direct impact grew from $1.9 billion in the first half of 2015 to $2.7 billion in the first half of 2022, after adjusting for inflation.
The number of jobs in book publishing has decreased regularly since the first half of 2012, registering a decline of 34% through the first half of 2022. The dark purple line in the graph below shows the gradual pattern of this decrease.
Book publishing’s net impact on GDP also decreased strongly (-35%), from $620 million in the first half of 2012 to $400 million in the first half of 2022.
In sound recording, the number of jobs increased through 2016 but then decreased by a bit more through 2022, netting a 2% decrease as of the first half of 2022. The turquoise line in the graph below shows the moderate changes in sound recording.
In contrast, between the first half of 2012 and the first half of 2022, there was a 37% increase in sound recording’s net impact on GDP (from $240 to $330 million).
Books (or “book publishing” = books subdomain
Film & video = film and video subdomain
Sound recording (domain) = sound recording subdomain + music publishing subdomain
Culture (overall) and the arts (my combination but only a partial measurement)
Caution: The measurement of “the arts” here is imperfect – a measurement of convenience rather than a measurement specifically designed to capture all facets of the arts. For example, government-owned arts organizations are included in a government-specific category, not in arts subsectors. Education and training organizations also have their own category.
Jobs in both the arts (partial measurement) and culture (overall) increased consistently between 2012 and 2022, with the exception of 2020 and 2021. Both saw their highest job levels of the 10-year period in the first half of 2022.
As shown in the graph below, a partial measurement of jobs in the arts shows that there was a 24% increase between the first half of 2012 (172,600) and the same period in 2022 (214,200). Most of this increase was due to the strong growth in jobs in film and video after 2015.
Between the first halves of 2012 and 2022, there was a 23% increase in the arts’ net impact on GDP (from $5.2 billion to $6.4 billion).
There was an average of 682,300 jobs in the arts, culture, and heritage in the first half of 2022, which is 10% higher than in the first half of 2012. Culture’s net impact on GDP grew from $24.6 billion to $28.2 billion, resulting in a slightly higher percentage increase (15%) than total jobs (10%).
Arts (partial measurement) = my combination of all five of the above areas, i.e., visual arts + performing arts + books+ film & video + sound recording
Culture = all nine Statistics Canada domains, i.e., live performance + visual & applied arts + written & published works + audiovisual & interactive media + sound recording + heritage & libraries + governance, funding & professional support + education & training + multi domain. See below for descriptions.
Source: Statistics Canada, Table 36-10-0652-01. National culture and sport indicators by domain and sub-domain. Second quarter of 2022.
Six main areas (called “domains” by Statistics Canada) are included in the overall culture statistics:
Live performance (including performing arts as well as cultural festivals and celebrations, excluding government-owned organizations, which are captured in “governance, funding, and professional support”.)
Visual and applied arts (including architecture, advertising, crafts, design, and works of art)
Written and published works (including books, newspapers, periodicals, and other published works)
Audiovisual and interactive media (including broadcasting, film and video, and interactive media, excluding government-owned organizations, which are captured in “governance, funding, and professional support”)
Sound recording (and music publishing)
Heritage and libraries (including non-government-owned libraries, archives, cultural heritage, and natural heritage. Government-owned organizations are captured in “governance, funding, and professional support”.)
Also included are three supporting domains:
Governance, funding, and professional support (including, among other items, all government-owned cultural venues, which are therefore not counted in other areas, e.g., heritage and libraries, live performance, visual and applied arts, etc.).
Education and training (including cultural programs offered at educational and training establishments — also not counted in other areas)
Multi domain (including items that could not be allocated to a specific domain)