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Seven key findings from the new Creative Industry statistics

Today the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) published the latest UK creative industry statistics.[1] Reports were published on:

  1. Creative employment
  2. Creative services exports

This post summarises seven key findings from these. In what follows the Creative Economy refers to employment in Creative Industries (in creative occupations and other jobs) plus creative occupations employed in other industries.[2]

Seven key findings:

  1. Creative employment continues to grow faster than the workforce as a whole. Employment in the Creative Industries (Creative Economy) [3] grew by 3.2% (5.1%)  between 2014 and 2015 and now accounts for 1.9 (2.9) million jobs. This is a 19.5% (19.6%) increase since 2011. By contrast the wider UK workforce grew by 2% (2014-15) and 6.3% (2015-2011).[4]
  2. The fastest growing area of creative industry employment since 2011 has been Music, Performing and Visual Arts followed by IT, software and computer services.  Between 2015-2011 the fastest growing industry by employment was music, Performing and Visual Arts which grew by 34.7% followed by IT, Software and Computer Services (32.6%). The fastest growing creative industry employment between 2015-2014 was in Museums, Galleries and Libraries which grew by 14.6%.[5]
  3. Creative Industry employment has been growing rapidly in a number of regions around the country. Between 2011 and 2015, there were increases in Creative Industries employment of more than 25% in Yorkshire and the Humber (26.9%), East Midlands (52.5%), West Midlands (38.7%) and the South West (32.5%). In London, which accounts for the largest share of Creative Industry employment (30.8%), the growth over the same period was 15.6%.[6]
  4. There is significant variation across Creative Industries in how representative their employment is of the workforce as a whole

   In 2015:

  • 37.2% of Creative Industry jobs were filled by women compared to 47.1% of the UK workforce. One of the drivers of this is the small share of employment that women constitute of IT, Software and Computer Services (21.4%), by contrast in Museums Galleries and Libraries their share is 65.9%.[7]
  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups’ share of Creative Industry employment was 11.4%, close to their share of UK workforce employment  (11.3%). There is though considerable variation across creative industries. For example in IT, Software or Computer Services 16.7% of employment was from the BAME group, compared to 5.9% of jobs in Architecture.[8]
  1. Creative Industry service exports are growing rapidly and are a significant share of all UK exports of services. In 2014 the UK’s creative industries exported services worth £19.8bn, a 10.9% increase from 2013. This accounts for 9% of UK services exports.[9]
  2. IT, Software and Computer Services accounts for the largest share of Creative Industry services exports followed by Film, TV, Video, Radio and Photography. Exports of services from the IT, Software and Computer services accounted for the greatest share of Creative Industry service exports (44.6%), followed by Film, TV, Video, Radio and Photography industry were the second largest proportion in 2014 (23.8%).[10]
  3. Europe was the continent accounting for the largest share of UK Creative Industry service exports and the US was the largest country by service export share. In 2014 the majority (57.3% , £11.4bn) of UK Creative Industries exports of services were to the European Union. The USA was the country that received the largest of UK Creative Industry service exports accounting for 25.3% (£5bn) of the total services exports.[11]

What’s next for Creative Industry statistics?

DCMS plan to publish:[12

  1. Information on full and part-time creative economy employment The split of occupations inside and outsdide of the Creative Industries according to wherther they are in full-time and part-time employment.
  2. Productivity estimates for creative employment DCMS will publish productivity estimates. Productivity per hour is the preferred measure adopted and will be the focus of work going forward. How to adjust the estimates for inflation most effectively is also being considered.
  3. Export figures for creative product exports Following their earlier consultation, DCMS are looking provide more information on creative product export figures than was initially proposed and are exploring the possibility of using VAT data to do this. It is aimed to publish these creative product  exports in the next statistical release. This due to be published in December 2016

The next Creative Industries Economic Estimates will be estimates of GVA (for 2015). The statistical release will be published in December 2016.[13]


[1] DCMS (2016), ‘Creative Industry Statistics June 2016’ This number includes both first and second jobs.

[2]Ibid. Annexes A and B for the definitions of what is considered a creative occupation and creative industry

[3] Ibid. p5.

[4] Ibid. p7.

[5] It is important to consider that these figures are based on a survey, the Annual Population Survey, and some of the variation particularly in smaller samples may be due to changes in the sample year on year

[6] Ibid. p9.

[7] Ibid. p18.

[8] Ibid pp21-22.

[9] DCMS (2016), ‘Focus on exports of services June 2016’, p5

[10] Ibid.


[12] DCMS (2016), ‘Creative Industry Statistics June 2016’, p25.

[13] Gross Value Added (GVA) corresponds to the value of the economic output that the sector produces.


John Davies

John Davies

John Davies

Principal Data Scientist, Data Analytics Practice

John was a data scientist focusing on the digital and creative economy. He was interested in the interface of economics, digital technology and data.

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