Creative Economy Employment in the US, Canada and the UK
IssueCreative economy / Cultural industries
Based on Canadian, American, and United Kingdom employment surveys, this report compares the creative economy in the three countries. The authors did substantial work to ensure a high degree of comparability between the different occupational and industry codings in North America and the U.K.
As conceptualized in the report, the creative economy has three components: creative workers within the creative industries (termed “creative specialists”), creative workers in non-creative industries, and non-creative workers within the creative industries. These three components have been called the “creative tridents”.
Based on the definitions used in the report, Canada’s creative economy is comprised of 2.2 million workers, including 534,000 creative workers in creative industries, 815,000 creative workers in non-creative industries, and 893,000 non-creative workers within the creative industries.
Comparisons between the three countries show that Canada has the highest share of total employment on three related measures:
- Overall employment in the creative economy (12.9%), compared with 9.5% in the U.S. and 8.2% in the U.K.
- Creative workers within the creative industries (3.1%), compared with 2.0% in the U.S. and 2.8% in the U.K.
- Creative workers outside of the creative industries (4.7%), compared with 2.5% in the U.S. and 3.2% in the U.K.
Canada is just below the U.S. in terms of the proportion of total employment comprised of non-creative workers within the creative industries (5.1% and 5.2%, respectively, compared with 2.6% in the U.K.).
The report summarizes the “substantial differences in the structures of the creative economies in the three countries”:
- In the U.K., the “creative industries are more specialised in creative work than either their U.S. or Canadian counterparts”.
- The U.S. has the largest overall number of cultural workers (but not as a share of total employment) and a high proportion of non-creative workers within the creative industries.
- Canada has a particularly large “share of creative workers embedded in non-creative industries”.