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Briefing paper

Economic importance of the arts and entertainment sector: background brief

Live performance industry Arts funding Performing arts Arts Australia

With the federal government recently announcing a support package for the arts and entertainment sector, this background brief summarises Australia Institute research on the economic role of the sector and related polling.

In this paper, and most Australia Institute research, the arts and entertainment sector is defined the following Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) industry categories: Creative and Performing Arts Activities, Motion Picture and Sound Recording Activities, Publishing (except Internet and Music Publishing), Internet Publishing and Broadcasting, Heritage Activities, Library and Other Information Services.

Key details:

  • The arts and entertainment sector contributes $14.7 billion per year in value added (GDP).
  • Arts and entertainment employ 193,600 Australians.
  • For every million dollars in turnover, arts and entertainment produce 9 jobs while the construction industry only produces around 1 job.
  • Arts and entertainment employs 51% women and 49% men.
  • Arts and entertainment related industries have seen the largest pandemic shutdowns, with just 47% to 65% of businesses operating in early April.
  • Majority of Australians (58%) support a relief package for live entertainment and half (51%) support doubling funding for the Australia Council.
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