Australia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector

The most recent data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2011 Census of Population and Housing looks at the growth in employment in the cultural industries over the period 2006-11.  The data shows that the number of people employed in cultural occupations for their main job increased by 9.1% between 2006 and 2011, with the number of females increasing by 12.8% between 2006 and 2011, while the number of males increased by 6.1%.  The cultural occupations which recorded a percentage increase in main job employment greater than 40% were Web Developer, Book or Script Editor, Make Up Artist, Civil Celebrant, Web Designer, Environmental manager, Copywriter, and Multimedia Designer. 

The number of people employed in cultural industries for their main job increased between 2006 and 2011 by 3.4%.   The largest percentage increases in main job employment occurred in the Internet Publishing and Broadcasting industry (96.1%), Creative Artists, Musicians, Writers and Performers industry (42.9%) and the Post-Production Services and Other Motion Picture and Video Activities industry (34.6%). 

Extensive data on this ABS data may be found at

Individuals employed within the public cultural institutions, such as the national and state museums, libraries and the like, tend to have their salaries linked to the relevant public service sector in their area.  To this extent the salaries are rarely commensurate with those of occupations such as doctors and judges, even those working within the public sector, while they will have some degree of comparative level with those of teachers, although these salaries vary significantly from state to state.

There are no specific employment policies for the cultural sector in Australia.  For programs to support artists see section 8.1 below.


Chapter published: 26-12-2013