Multiple job holding: Much more common in the arts and culture than elsewhere, and more common among women than men
Another indicator of the precarity of cultural workers
Onward, delving into important issues in the arts and culture workforce. Today, I’m looking into workers in the arts and culture who have at least one other job. When it is driven by need rather than personal choice, multiple job holding can be seen as a factor in the precarity of workers in the arts and culture.
I think that the data tell an interesting story about employed workers in the arts and culture. However, the data source (Labour Force Survey annual averages) excludes workers who are self-employed in their main job. Statistics Canada still doesn’t do a great job of delving into the working conditions of self-employed people, despite the proliferation of gig work. Because artists have very high self-employment rates, many of them are excluded from the data, along with other self-employed cultural workers. Self-employed artists and cultural workers who have an employed position in another occupation (one that is their main job) are included.
Almost 10% of employees in the arts and culture have multiple jobs, compared with just over 5% of all Canadian employees. The multiple job holding rate among arts and culture workers has increased over the past 35 years. There are significant differences in multiple job holding rates between different workers in the arts and culture.
Today’s post sticks with the nationwide picture. Next week, I’ll analyze provincial data on the same topic.
Data on 434,400 employees, almost all of whom work in the arts and culture
In this post, the phrase “workers in the arts and culture” relates to three summary occupation groupings that are readily available from Statistics Canada. The three occupation groupings include 434,400 employed workers, 95% of whom work in the arts and culture. (The other 5% work in sports.) The three occupation groupings include:
166,800 employed workers in what Statistics Canada calls professional occupations in the arts and culture. This group includes: some artists, such as producers, directors, conductors, and musicians; writers, translators, and other communications professionals; as well as librarians, archivists, conservators, and curators.
171,200 employed workers in what Statistics Canada calls technical occupations in the arts and culture, including: graphic and interior designers; as well as technical workers in libraries, archives, motion pictures, broadcasting, and the performing arts.
96,400 employees in what Statistics Canada (rather generically) calls occupations in the arts, culture, and sports. This group includes: artists such as dancers, actors, comedians, circus performers, photographers, craftspeople, and other visual artists; theatre and fashion designers; select museum and art gallery jobs (e.g., registrars, restorers); assistants in film, broadcasting, photography, and performing arts; as well as a few sports occupations (athletes, coaches, and referees).
By my estimate, using the granular data that are available in the 2021 census, the three occupation groupings account for about two-thirds of all cultural workers. (The cultural workers who are not covered by the data are mostly those who work in disparate areas of the economy, such as printing, advertising, and architecture.)
Specific occupations cannot be pinpointed in the Labour Force Survey, because of its relatively small sample size, even via annual averages. That is why I’m sticking with the three summary groupings of arts and culture workers.
Unfortunately, the census, with its larger sample size, does not address multiple job holding. Hence the need to rely on the Labour Force Survey.