Spain/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector

The weight of the cultural sector in the Spanish economy is measured in terms of its contribution to GDP (2.5% or 3.4%, in 2012, depending on whether one takes into account all activities related to intellectual property) and in terms of employment. According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2014, the number of jobs in the cultural field rose from 478 800 in 2012 to 485 300 in 2013, an increase of approximately 1.4%. In relative terms, i.e. considering the proportion of cultural employment to total employment, this has also remained pretty stable (2.7% in 2012, and 2.8% in 2013). Employment grew significantly throughout the 2000s as a result of the development of cultural companies, producers of added value with the capacity to absorb new technologies and qualified workers. However, during the past few years there has been some job destruction, though the data for the year 2013 may indicate a trend change.

The most significant differences between cultural and total employment are observed in the education level, as employees in the cultural sector have above-average training and there is a higher rate of part-time workers. The Autonomous Communities of Madrid and Catalonia have the highest number of employees in culture: 4.6% and 3.9% respectively of total employment in these communities. Approximately 73.1% of workers in culture were employees in 2013, a smaller proportion than the average in the whole economy (82.1%): 77% of these had indefinite contracts, and 23% had temporary contracts. It is equally true, however, that cultural employment, particularly in the entertainment field, is made up of a high proportion of unregistered workers who exist on the fringes of the mainstream economic system.

As for civil service employment in this field, the main traditional challenge has been to re-train local and regional officials and bring them up to speed on current trends in cultural policy-making. The economic crisis has also affected cultural administration, with the consequent reductions in jobs. This trend diverges from that in times of economic expansion, in which the cultural administration had significantly increased their structures.

In recent years, as a result of the economic crisis and cutbacks in the field of culture, there have been different protests by audiovisual professionals, members of the National Choir and dancers from public companies.

Chapter published: 24-06-2015