The creative industries contribute £8.8m per hour to the UK economy, making it one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the global financial system.
Throughout history, creative professions have been viewed as secondary by society; perhaps spiritually fulfilling, but considered less worthy than industry, commerce, medicine and law. With the creative industries contributing almost £77bn to the UK economy in 2014 alone, it is perhaps time that we re- appraised the value of this lucrative, but previously maligned sector.
A recent study conducted by online freelance marketplace, PeoplePerHour, has revealed that the creative economy is growing at a tremendous rate, and now makes up 6.5-7% of global output. While 1 in 10 people currently work within the creative industries, this figure is likely to rise to 1 in 8 people within the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate of 2.3% over the last decade and a half.
According to John Howkins, author and speaker on Creative Industries, ‘America exports more value in terms of copyright, than food, soft drinks, cars, computers and planes, and Britain’s fashion industry employs more people and makes more money than its steel or car industries’. Given the industrial heartland that originally forged Britain’s and America’s places on the global economic stage, this is a phenomenal reversal, exhibiting both the prowess and potential of the creative professions.
The rapid and recent rise of the creative economy can be viewed as being powered by three key factors: the decline of traditional industry; the advent of digital technology and the means of reaching a global market that it provides; and the growth in the number of people able to attain a high degree of education. The combination of these three factors have proven particularly beneficial to UK creatives – the status of English as a global lingua franca means that there is an increased demand for those with impeccable English language skills, particularly among the emerging economies of the Far East. With Advertising and Marketing, including writing, being the second most highly demanded creative skill set, British creative professionals are ideally positioned to maximise the potential of this growing sector.
In the last three years, there has been a ten-fold increase in sales exported from the UK to the Far East. From the United Arab Emirates to Qatar, eight of the top ten importers of UK creative industries in 2014 were in the Far East, adding an impressive £17.3bn to the UK economy. Many of those employed worked on an individual freelance basis, using modern technology and sales platforms, such as PeoplePerHour, to access the global market. The most highly demanded skills were those of design, writing, web development and business support.
Creativity and innovation are fundamentally interwoven in the new economy; they are a driver of significant growth, and outperform all other sectors of the economy in the UK. With the creative industries only set to grow, it is beyond time that they received the recognition that they deserve.
The full report can be found here: blog.peopleperhour.com/The-Rise-Of-The-Creative-Economy