HomeInsightsGovernment says latest figures show UK’s creative industries are performing “better than ever”

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The Government says that the UK’s creative industries have cemented their position as “a powerhouse for growth”, with employment in the sector growing at four times the rate of the UK workforce as whole.

The nation’s creative industries now employ almost two million people, up 5% on the previous year, compared to the wider UK workforce, which grew by 1.2%, according to the latest official statistics from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Government says that, in addition to the overall employment boom for the sector, the creative industries are also leading the way in addressing concerns about the lack of diversity in the workplace.  The number of people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in the creative industries has increased by 15% since 2015, an improvement more than two and half times that of the wider UK workforce.  In the film and TV sectors alone, BAME representation has jumped by 40%, and in the design and fashion sector numbers up by almost 50%.

Whilst London remains a hub for the creative industries, the latest figures also demonstrate impressive growth in different geographical regions around the UK, including:

  • growth of Yorkshire and Humber’s film and TV industries has outstripped that of every other part of the UK, increasing by 40% in the last year;
  • in the North West, advertising and marketing continues to grow rapidly, experiencing an increase of over 20%, with Manchester and MediaCity in Salford proving to be globally competitive in this sub-sector; and
  • the Midlands continued to expand as a centre for design and designer fashion, experiencing a 66% increase in employment in the West Midlands and a 54% increase in the East Midlands. The region is home to a number of global fashion brands and world leading fashion and design higher education courses.

The figures show that there has also been strong employment growth nationally in other DCMS sectors.  The number of jobs in the sport sector has increased by 4.2% year-on-year and is up 19.2% since 2011.  The digital sector has also enjoyed significant job creation, up 2.4% year-on-year and 12.6% since 2011, while the number of jobs in the cultural sector has increased by 1.8% year on year and 20% since 2011.

In addition, export statistics for DCMS sectors show continued growth and a growing appetite for UK goods and services.  The latest figures show that in 2015 DCMS sectors exported £38.2 billion worth of services to the rest of the world, up 1.4% from the year before and a 42.4% rise on 2010.  Exports of services from DCMS sectors in 2015 accounted for 16.9% of total UK service exports.

DCMS sectors exported £27.3 billion worth of goods to the rest of the world in 2015, up 9% on the year before, growth that was greater than the rest of the UK as a whole. Exports of goods from DCMS sectors in 2015 accounted for 9.6% of total UK goods exports.

The Government says it is “working hard” to make sure this upward trend continues, and will “pursue a deep and special partnership with the EU”, including a “bold and ambitious” Free Trade Agreement that is “of greater scope and ambition than any such existing agreement”.

The Government says that it will also introduce a Trade Bill to ensure the country has the tools to “act as a credible player on the world stage, and enhance the UK’s leading role as a global trading nation negotiating and enforcing a rules-based trading system, and driving positive change through trade”.  To read the Government’s press release in full and for a link to the official statistics, click here.