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The 2023 Creative Census

Some good news for the UK Creative Sector, the 2023 Census data* demonstrates a robust outlook despite economic instability. Against a backdrop few years of lockdowns, a cost-of-living crisis, and persistent obstacles to growth, more than 66% of creative sector businesses remain eager to recruit new candidates.


The census findings disclose that nearly half (45%) of respondents are open to transitioning to new positions within the next six months. The primary motivations for contemplating a change include higher salary or day rate, career advancement, and a favourable work environment. This suggests that exceptional talent is available to businesses that can provide competitive compensation and avenues for growth.

Salaries within the industry have experienced moderate growth, with a 6% increase for permanent staff and a 3% increase for freelancers. However, it’s important to note that 87% of creative industry workers earn less than £80k per year, and many face the burden of rising living costs. Inflation has been a concern, surpassing expectations fourfold. While the salary increase for permanent positions aligns with the average wage growth, freelancers have not observed the same rate of increase. To keep pace with current inflation, both salaries and day rates would need to rise by approximately 9%. The census also underscores the significance of workplace policies and flexibility. More than half of the respondents operate within a hybrid model with fixed hours, but only 18% prefer this arrangement. The majority of workers expressed a preference for a hybrid model that incorporates flexible hours, with 98% considering flexibility to be one of the most crucial factors when assessing new opportunities. Additional key considerations include holiday entitlement, retirement benefits, and work-life balance. Overall, despite the challenging economic climate, the UK Creative Industries are positioned for a promising future. With ongoing recruitment efforts by businesses, candidates have the chance to secure positions that offer enticing compensation packages and the flexibility they seek.

How can we help? royall has extensive experience in creative communications and event recruitment. Connecting world-class talent and best agencies and brands as a unique, closely knit team delivering an unmatched level of client and talent service. Are you looking for a new opportunity, or to hire in the creative sector? We’d love to hear from you. *Published by Major Players

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