According to the study, the crisis generated by the pandemic led the Gross Value Added in the cultural and leisure sectors to decrease by US$ 750 billion, and 10 million jobs were lost in 2020.
These data are from the Report Re|shaping policies for creativity: addressing culture as a global public good published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The document shows that the cultural sector has been suffering major impacts since the beginning of the pandemic, while support for the development of cultural and leisure projects continues to decline. In several countries, sector revenues have fallen by between 20% and 40%.
The report also reveals that people’s access to digital cultural content has increased. In this sense, the document states that it is necessary and urgent to create “fair remuneration systems for artists and content producers consumed online”. Although the flow of cultural goods and services is increasing around the world, little progress has been made in closing the gap between developed and developing countries.
According to this study, the global crisis caused by the pandemic exposed the challenges to ensure the preservation of the cultural diversity of expressions in the world. The report also highlights the essential value of the cultural and creative sector as an instrument of social cohesion, educational resource, and well-being of people in times of crisis. However, at the same time, it shows that the sector’s potential to produce economic growth was undermined.
Access to various forms of cultural expression has been restricted around the world, hampering the ability to contribute to economic development. The cultural sector represents 3.1% of the global Gross Domestic Product and 6.2% of job vacancies. Public spending in the creative industries was already falling even before COVID-19. After the pandemic, there was a collapse in income and jobs in the sector, further worsening the precarious working conditions of many artists around the world. The pandemic made the vulnerability of cultural professionals even more evident.
The UNESCO Report Re|shaping policies for creativity: addressing culture as a global public good is available in English, French and Spanish. For further information, click here.