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System of Cultural Information and Indicators

With pandemic, cultural sector loses 11.2% of employed persons in 2020

Section: Social Statistics | Alerrandre Barros | Design: Brisa Gil

December 08, 2021 10h00 AM | Last Updated: December 17, 2021 11h44 AM

In order to control the Coronavirus spread, entertainment venues, cinemas and theaters were closed - Photo: Fernando Frazão/Brazil Agency

The pandemic brought a severe impact on the cultural sector in 2020. Compared to the previous year, it lost a higher percentage of job positions (-11.2%) than the total employed population in the country (-8.7%). In 2019, 5.5 million persons worked in cultural activities, which represented 5.8% of the total employed persons. Last year, they were 4.8 million (5.6%), inverting the increasing gain of the sector since 2016.

The data are from the 2020 System of Cultural Information and Indicators, released today (December 8) by the IBGE.

Between 2019 and 2020, the activities related to culture that most lost employed personnel were fashion, the furniture sector, print and recording, activities related to events, recreation and leisure. The most affected job positions were organizers of conferences and events; tailors, dressmakers, hatters and furriers; woodworkers and the like; advertising and marketing professionals.

“With rare exceptions, the pandemic decelerated the economy, as in the case of the so-called non-essential activities. In the cultural sector, that became even more evident in the segment of recreation, with the closure of entertainment venues, cinemas and theaters and other cultural activities, with less public to control the virus spread”, explains the survey analyst, Mr. Leonardo Athias.

41.2% of workers in culture were in informality

Self-employed workers, the greatest employment category in the cultural sector, reached 41.6% in 2020, followed by workers in the private sector with a formal contract (37.7%) and without a formal contract (11.3%). Workers in the private sector without a formal contract and the self-employed, the categories most commonly associated to informality, lost relative participation in employment in culture.

“The pandemic destroyed more positions in informal than in formal jobs. Although workers are usually more educated, there were more informal workers in the cultural sector than in al the other sectors together. In 2020, this percentage was 41.2% of the employed persons in the cultural sector and 38.8% of the employed persons in all sectors”, says Mr. Athias.

The states with the biggest percentages of informality in the cultural sector in 2020 were Amapá (71.3%), Pará (67.7%) and Maranhão (64.9%), whereas among the lowest were Santa Catarina (24.9%), Rio Grande do Sul (28.4%) and São Paulo (34.9%).

Wage bill of culture decreases, despite the increase of average earnings

Last year the monthly average earnings from work of the employed persons in cultural activities increased to R$ 2.478, an increase of the 3.6% against 2019. The gains in the sector were even greater than the average of the total productive activities. Although earnings increased, the workers’ wage bill shrank 8.0%, decreasing from R$ 13.1 billion in 2019 to R$ 12.1 billion in 2020.

“The increase in earnings in the cultural sector in 2020 is a reflex of the transition of persons from informal jobs to unemployment. Such movement led the increase of the average earnings for those who kept their jobs. As the average income did not make up for the reduction of the employed between 2019 and 2020, the wage bill fell”, explains Mr, Athias.

Black and brown workers were also the most affected by the pandemic in the cultural sector

The share of women in the cultural sector increases from 46.4%, in 2014, to 49.5% in 2020, reaching its greatest percentage.

In culture, 43.8% of the employed persons were black or brown, whereas in the general employed population that figure was 53.5%. Between 2019 and 2020, there was decrease in the share of the black and brown persons both in the cultural sector and in the other sectors. Black and brown workers were the most affected by the pandemics.

Since 2014, the workers of the cultural sector have a higher schooling level than the other employed workers. In 2020, for the total number of workers, 22,6% had a higher degree, whereas in the cultural sector, they were 30.9%.

Among the Federation Units, São Paulo (7.5%), Rio de Janeiro (7.0%) and Rio Grande do Norte (6.7%) had the greatest percentage of persons working in the cultural sector in 2020. On the other hand, Tocantins (2.7%), Acre (2.8%), Rondônia (3.1%), Amapá (3.1%) and Roraima (3.1%) had the lowest rates.

In ten years, books and press loss nearly 1/3 of the enterprises whereas design and creative services grew 92%

The study also shows that 338.7 thousand formal organizations, especially enterprises in the segment of cultural activities in 2019, had a reduction of 38.8 thousand against 2009. They represented 6.5% of the total organizations and employed 2.0 million persons, of which 1.6 million salaried persons (3.4% of the total). There was participation loss of the sector against 2009, when culture represented 7.8% of the enterprises and 3.5% of the salaried persons. The value added of cultural activities was of R$ 256 billion in 2019.

The eight core domains in culture, according to UNESCO's classification, account for 66.2% of the organizations and 51.1% of the salaried personnel in culture, and paid, on average, R$ 2,840 per month. On the other hand, transversal activities (equipment and supporting materials) included the rest of the organizations (33.8%) and of the salaried persons (48.9%), with a higher average compensation (R$ 4,366 per month).

In a decade, equipment and supporting materials had the greatest contribution to the decrease of 10.3% of the number of organizations of culture, with reduction of 40.2 thousand enterprises, influenced by the retail trade specialized in computer equipment and supplies.

In the core cultural activities, books and press lost 26.7 thousand organizations (-35.2%), whereas design and creative services gained 31,7 thousand (a high of 91.9%), accumulating the greatest number of organizations, 19.6% of the total in culture.

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