How Many People in Ireland Work in the Arts?

With COVID19 still restricting employment within the economy, a lot of people are finding themselves out of a job for at least the moment. Obviously, essential services are still open but non-essential services are not. The arts, entertainment, and recreation sector have taken a severe loss at this time because unfortunately while they are great services and make the country a better place to live in, they are classed as non-essential. This means that Ireland’s musicians, artists, actors, and other entertainment workers are temporarily unable to work.

With this in mind I thought it might be a nice idea for this week’s post to take a look at how much of Ireland’s labour force were employed in this sector. To do this I just took the total number of workers in all sectors and divided it by the number of workers in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector. I also did this for the UK as well just to give a cross country comparison.

Percentage of Labour force in the arts Ireland and UK

As can be seen from the graph above the total percentage of people employed in this sector relevant to all other sectors teeters from just under 2.3% in the first quarter of 2019 and reaches 2.4% by the fourth quarter of 2019. Now while this may not seem like much when expressed in percentage terms, the total number of people employed in Ireland in the first quarter of 2019 was 2,301,900, so just 2% of that still amounts to 46,038 people.

Another noteworthy point to take away from this is that there was a slightly higher percentage of workers in the UK who worked in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector. The UK average sitting at 2.64% while the Irish average is at 2.33%. Potential explanations for this may include just that there is a greater infrastructure for employment in this sector in the UK but the difference is so marginal that it may just be down to random dispersion in the labour force. If you are interested in keeping up with more analysis of the Irish music industry, please give Music Economics a like on Facebook.

By Daragh O’Leary

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