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One in three music jobs lost during the pandemic, according to new report

The report says 69,000 people lost work during the Covid-19 pandemic

By Grace Almond

A picture of a group of people watching a concert is taken from the back
UK Music has urged the government to take action in the wake of their report

A new report by UK Music has concluded that one in three jobs were wiped out during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The findings come with a call by the trade body (which is funded by the industry to represent its collective interests), for the government to step up its support for the recovery of the sector.

The annual report, ‘This Is Music 2021’, has found a 35% fall in the number of music jobs, from 197,000 in 2019 to 128,000 in 2020, as a result of the difficulties faced by the industry including the shut down of live events, a lack of comprehensive insurance coverage for venues and the temporary closure of studios.

The report delivers the stark statistic that 69,000 jobs were lost in the music sector, accounting for the fact that three quarters of workers are self-employed and were not given access to help from support schemes implemented by the government. 

The general secretary of Musicians’ Union, Horace Trubridge, said: “The total loss of live work for over a year and the fact that the financial help offered by the government left so many out in the cold, has resulted in a huge loss of jobs and talent.”

UK Music’s ‘Music By Numbers 2020’ report unveiled that in 2019, the UK music industry had contributed £5.8 billion to the UK economy that year, an increase of 11% from 2018. Employment figures also saw an increase of 3% to 197,168.

UK Music have set out five areas that require government action: tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs, take urgent action to remove the barriers to touring the EU, introduce a permanent reduction in VAT rate on live music event tickets, allocate more funding and support for music export, boost funding for music education and for the self-employed to help secure the talent pipeline.

Whilst entertainment venues and summer festivals reopened this year, the impact of the pandemic on the UK’s nightlife sector has been shown in a report from the Night Time Industries Association, which has found that the sector has seen almost 90,000 job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the sector – but we are determined to look to the future and focus on recovery,” said UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.