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Employment trends

Number of people employed in the creative workforce, 2006

According to analysis by the Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation of the 2006 Census of Population and Housing, there were 486,790 people in the creative workforce across six creative segments. The largest of these segments, software and interactive content, accounted for 35 per cent of the creative workforce, followed by architecture, design and visual arts (24 per cent) and writing, publishing and print media (15 per cent).

The film, television and radio segment represents 33,026 people (7 per cent). Of these people, 20,980 were in specialist film, television and radio occupations – film and video editors, for example, or directors of photography – and employed either in one of the six creative industries (16,452 people) or in another industry (4,528 people). The remaining 12,046 people were employed by film, television and radio businesses or service providers in a business support, rather than creative, role. Since 2001, there has been only 1 per cent growth in the film, television and radio segment, although the average for all segments is just 1.7 per cent.

Based on the annual earnings declared in the 2006 census, people employed in the creative workforce earned about $27 billion annually in wages and salaries, approximately 7 per cent of Australia’s total employment earnings. The software and interactive content segment accounted for $12.2 billion of this total, while the film, television and radio segment made up $1.9 billion; the mean income for these segments was $70,800 and $56,180 respectively, compared to a national mean of $43,420. Only one segment, music and performing arts, earned below this amount ($36,820).

 Graph: Proportion of people employed in the creative workforce by industry, 2006. Table following provides the data.
  Specialist creative occupations in other indusries2 Employment in creative industries1 TOTAL
Specialist creative occupations2 Other occupations3 Total creative industries
Total 171,460 141,928 173,402 315,330 486,790
Film, television and radio 4,528 16,452 12,046 28,498 33,026
Software and interactive content 51,673 36,366 81,623 117,989 169,662
Music and performing arts 12,838 11,290 7,619 18,909 31,747
Advertising and marketing 32,784 9,088 17,909 26,997 59,781
Writing, publishing and print media 26,745 19,224 28,608 47,832 74,577
Architecture, design and visual arts 42,892 49,508 25,597 75,105 117,997

Source: Analysis by Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI) using unpublished data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Census of Population and Housing, 2006.

Where comparison is made to 2001 employment levels, data is from the ABS 2001 Census of Population and Housing.
1. Includes all creative workforce segments used for classifying occupations. See Creative workforce definitions.
2. Specialist creative occupations are a selection of occupations that produce creative goods or services. They may be participants at any stage of the production process but it is the involvement of such people primarily in creative functions (rather than, for example, retail sales) that distinguishes them.
3. Other occupations are defined as those working in support roles for creative industries, such as management or sales.