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New report reveals one in three UK music jobs were lost during the pandemic

19 October 2021, 11:13 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

UK Music’s annual This Is Music 2021 report has revealed that one in three people in the UK music industry have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this month The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) published a new report that revealed over 85,000 jobs were lost in the UK nightlife sector due to COVID, and today (19 October) UK Music's annual This Is Music 2021 report has revealed that the UK music industry has experienced a "devastating" impact of the pandemic, with one in three music industry workers losing their jobs due to COVID.

According to the report, 69,000 jobs were lost across the UK music industry, and employment within the sector plummeted 35% between 2019 and 2020, dropping from 197,000 jobs to 128,000.

Last year, the UK music industry's economic contribution also decreased by 46%, from £5.8 billion to £3.1 billion. Music exports also dropped 23% in 2020 (from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £2.3 billion), and live music revenues plunged by approximately 90% in 2020.

The report states, "Such a huge loss in revenues inevitably led to a loss in employment for both live music workers and music creators alike, who have experienced a 35% and a 40% decline in employment respectively."

UK Music's Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin outlined five key areas for the UK government to focus on in order to help rebuild the sector, which includes "tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs", removing EU touring restrictions, a "permanent reduction in VAT rate on live music event tickets", increased funding and support for music exports, and a boost in "funding for music education and for the self-employed to help secure the talent pipeline".

Njoku-Goodwin said, "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."

"Music matters to us all," he continued. "And in a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry."

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said that the music industry has "shown great strength, patience and resilience during these hard times", and praised the "£2 billion Culture Recovery Fund" for being a "vital lifeline". Dorries added, "Until now, our focus has been rescue and reopening. Now the priority is to ensure a strong recovery. The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets, and I give my commitment that the Government will continue to back it every step of the way."

Read UK Music's full This Is Music 2021 report at
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