New Analysis: Arts & Entertainment Funding Creates 10x More Jobs for Women than HomeBuilder

Australia Institute

New research from the Australia Institute shows that, per dollar invested, the arts and entertainment sector employs twice as many men and 10 times as many women as the building construction industry.

The research is being released after this week’s Federal Budget which revealed just $223 million for the jobs intensive Art and Entertainment sector, while billions are being provided to the male dominated, jobs poor sectors of construction and mining.

Key findings:

  • Funding to the arts and entertainment sector of the same magnitude as the $2 billion HomeBuilder scheme would create 8,593 jobs, including 4,068 for men and 4,526 for women.
    • That represents twice as many jobs for men and 10 times as many jobs for women as HomeBuilder is estimated to create.
  • The arts and entertainment sector employs 193,000 Australians and contributes $14.7 billion to Gross Domestic Product annually.
  • The sector employs an even balance of women and men, and employs many more people per million dollars of turnover than industries like building construction, coal mining and oil and gas extraction.
  • The sector has been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic shutdown.

“Arts and entertainment employ four times as many Australians as coal mining and as many people as the entire finance sector, yet the economic contribution of the arts continues to be poorly understood,” said Ben Oquist, executive director of the Australia Institute.

“As a society, we undervalue the arts in a multitude of ways. The federal government should support our arts and entertainment sector to both enrich Australia’s cultural experience and take advantage of its extraordinary employment potential.

“Our research shows that stimulus directed to the arts and entertainment sector would create many more jobs for all Australians, and especially women, when compared to funding for the construction or mining industries.

“The COVID-19 crisis has hit the arts hard, with reports of over $330 million in contracts lost. This comes on top of substantial reductions in federal funding for the sector in recent years.

“This week’s Budget was a timely opportunity for the government to support the Australian economy, create jobs for women and recognise the importance of the arts and entertainment industry. Unfortunately, the male dominated and jobs poor sectors of construction and mining continue to receive the majority of government attention and support.”

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