How COVID Decimated Creative Jobs and WA’s Income [report]

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The impact of COVID on Western Australia’s creative sector has been immediate and brutal, according to a new report from the WA Department of Local Governments, Sports and Cultural Industries.

83% of its businesses posted lower than expected profits and suffered a 59% drop in employment.

The survey covered the first three months (April 1 to June 30) after the music, arts and creative industries had to slam their doors in 2020.

It covered 26 areas, including music, performance venues, radio, film, television, theater, comedy, games and sets, lighting and production design.

The 59% drop in employment (which included jobs retained through JobKeeper) was significantly marked in self-employment (down 78%) and casual jobs (75%).

But full-time and part-time jobs, down 8% and 1% respectively, have generally been bolstered by COVID-19 support packages.

Concert halls were the second place where work was lost, at 91%. They were second behind comedians whose job loss was 96%.

The others listed were producers (81%), circus performers (70%) and theater companies (61%).

In terms of income, musicians and composers faced a 92% drop in what they hoped to earn.

But even more, the most affected are those of film / video post-production and animation productions (98% less), circus artists (98%) and dancers and choreographers (93%).

Most drew on their personal savings to cover expenses due to lost income.

31% of the unemployed, 26% of students and 20% of the self-employed said they had borrowed funds from family and friends to survive.

Concert halls and arenas were the second largest shortfall after receiving support from COVID-19.

Film / video postproductions and animation productions lead the way (92%), with library / archive operations (81%) and dancers / choreographers (81%).

61% of creative industry companies have not received any COVID-19 support package. Those who did received an average of $ 11,173 for the period, which represents 39% of total income.

Access to assistance packages was highest among businesses (58%) and nonprofits (52%) and lowest among freelancers (19%) and independent traders (38%).

Jobs for creative artists fell 77%. Those of art venues fell by 72% and those of performing arts companies fell by 60%.

How big is WA’s creative sector? A rreport in September 2021 by the Bankwest Curtin Economics Center estimated that it generated gross economic value of between $ 5.8 billion and $ 7.3 billion.

His job represented 2.5% of WA workers. Jobs increased by 27.8% between 2006 and 2016 (mainly as the sector went digital) compared to an overall employment growth of 17.4%.

Focusing on the music industry, he is worth nearly $ 1 billion with nearly 3,000 full-time jobs and salaries of $ 149 million, according to Research 2016 by the WAM Music Association, research published and conducted by Edith Cowan University.

View full report here.

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