A UNESCO report has revealed that 10 million jobs across the creative industries were lost in 2020 alone, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Reshaping Policies for Creativity report’s foreword, the director-general of the United Nations’ cultural body, UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, wrote: “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an unprecedented crisis in the cultural sector.
“All over the world, museums, cinemas, theatres and concert halls – places of creating and sharing – have closed their doors. In 2020, the cinema drawn by creators fell by more than 10%, or more than €1bn (£841.9m/$1.14bn).
“What was already a precarious situation for many artists has become unsustainable, threatening creative diversity.”
According to the report, initial estimates have seen the global Gross Value Added in the cultural and creative industries contract by $750bn in 2020.
The report said: “In the countries for which data is available, the revenue of the cultural and creative industries decreased by between 20% and 40% in 2020, and cultural and creative industries generally performed worse than their national economies, thereby sustaining more damage than during any previous crisis.”
Despite many Governments across the globe providing some form of financial support to their respective creative sectors, researchers added that the collapse in employment and income also followed a decline in public funding and a rise in the perilousness of being a cultural worker.
The report also noted that as cultural institutions closed, organisers turned to the Internet to keep the creativity flowing and to try and scrape back any loss in revenue due to lengthy closures.
“Digitisation took a front seat during the pandemic, as it became more central to creation, production, distribution and access to cultural expressions,” added the report.