Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

“Creative input: The role of culture occupations in the economy during the 1990s,” by Michael Schimpf, Statistics Canada

The Daily (Statistics Canada's official release bulletin) has announced the publication of a study entitled “Creative input: The role of culture occupations in the economy during the 1990s,” carried out by Michael Schimpf. The study is part of a series entitled Culture, Tourism and the Centre for Education Statistics: Research Papers (81-595-MIE2008064). It is available in French and English in the “ Publications ” section of the Statistics Canada website.

This study analyzes the extent to which culture workers were employed outside of culture industries during the 1990s, for example in manufacturing industries or business services. Regarding the study’s main conclusions, Statistics Canada writes, “Culture workers and their knowledge, skills, and creativity are relevant for producing goods and services outside the culture sector (…).” The study demonstrates that almost half of all culture workers were employed in non-culture industries, particularly in four sectors: manufacturing, business services, educational services, and retail trade. Finally, Statistics Canada adds, “It is not surprising that many core culture workers are employed in typical culture industries, such as printing and publishing, broadcasting, and theater. Yet, what is striking is the number employed in industries that are not usually thought of as cultural in nature.”

According to Statistics Canada, the study focused on core culture workers, “that is, those in core creative and artistic production occupations as defined by the Canadian Framework for Culture Statistics.” The agency also states that the core culture occupations are those directly involved in producing creative work. Examples of core culture occupations include writers, architects, designers of various kinds, actors, musicians, and archivists.

A related question concerns whether the employment of culture workers outside culture industries increased during the 1990s. Results indicate that core culture employment in manufacturing increased by 55%, a rate far higher than overall employment growth in manufacturing during the 1990s. For business services, the evidence suggests that core culture employment almost doubled over the decade, an increase that was also larger than overall employment growth in business services. In this respect, Statistics Canada states, “This suggests that producing manufactured goods and business services relied to a greater degree on creative design work at the end of the decade than at the beginning.”

The study also examined where core culture workers tend to be employed. The results show that firms located in large cities hired culture workers to a much greater extent than those located in small cities and rural areas. “Hence,” states Statistics Canada, “culture-based skills, knowledge, and creativity were most likely to be used for producing non-culture goods and services in Canada’s largest cities.”

Readers are encouraged to read all the conclusions of this study.