Report shows arts budget of less than 0.1% of public spending delivers four times that in contribution to GDP
Arts and culture delivers a significant return on relatively small levels of government spending and directly leads to at least £856m of spending by tourists in the UK, according to a new report seeking to analyse the value of the arts to the modern economy.
Analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) shows that the arts budget accounts for less than 0.1% of public spending, yet it makes up 0.4% of the nation’s GDP.
The report is published amid fears that the arts will take another big hit when George Osborne announces his spending review in June.
Maria Miller, the culture secretary, recently called for the economic case to be made for the arts, “to hammer home the value of culture to our economy”. She added: “In an age of austerity, when times are tough and money is tight, our focus must be on culture’s economic impact.”
The report, commissioned in November, helps to do that in unprecedented detail, showing that spending on the arts is far from a drain on public resources.
Alan Davey, chief executive of Arts Council England, which commissioned the research with the National Museum Directors’ Council, said he was gratified that the report quantified “what we have long understood – that culture plays a vital part in attracting tourism to the tune of £856m a year; that arts centres and activities transform our towns and cities and drive regeneration, making the choice to maintain investment in culture a forward thinking one for local authorities; and that the arts support the creative industries and improve their productivity.”
The report calculates that:
• The turnover of businesses in the arts and culture industry was £12.4bn in 2011. This in turn led to an estimated £5.9bn of gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy in the same year. (GVA is the value of the industry’s output minus the value of inputs used to produce it, including state subsidies.)
• The sector provides more than 110,000 jobs directly, about 0.45% of total employment in the UK. The figure becomes 260,300 jobs once the indirect impacts of arts and culture are added in.
• Living in an area with twice the average level of cultural density adds an average £26,817 to the value of a property.
The report says that public subsidy plays a vital role in encouraging creative innovation by “overcoming private-sector reluctance to invest in risky projects”. One example of that, quoted in the report, is the National Theatre’s War Horse, which even the original book’s author, Michael Morpurgo, had reservations about – but which has become a big moneyspinner.
Similarly, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which dominated the Olivier theatre awards, could only have been created with public money. Its director, Marianne Elliott, said after receiving an award: “We took risks and thought we would fail and it is a testament to subsidised theatre that we were allowed to think we might fail.”
The report says there is much evidence to show that art and culture improves national productivity. “Engagement with arts and culture helps to develop people’s critical thinking, to cultivate creative problem solving and to communicate and express themselves effectively.”
Although consumer spending on the arts – its biggest income – increased between 2008 and 2010, it suffered a decline in 2011-12. The report warns: “It might be said that arts and culture is experiencing a pincer movement effect in the aftermath of the financial crisis: reduced consumer expenditure due to squeezed incomes, and reduced public spending.”
The report was welcomed by the investment banker John Studzinski, who chairs the east London arts organisation Create. “Everybody knows the enormous intangible benefits of the arts. What this report does is look at tangible benefits that economists and bureaucrats can now point to.”
Davey stressed that the primary concern from the Arts Council’s perspective was always the contribution culture makes to quality of life. “But at a time when public finances are under such pressure, it is also right to examine all the benefits that investment in arts and culture can bring – and to consider how much we can make the most effective use of that contribution.”
Dow Jones Industrial Average pushed past 15,000 briefly after figures showing joblessness had fallen to 7.5% in April
Stock markets rose to record levels as the job market avoided a feared spring freeze by adding 165,000 new jobs last month, marking a four-year low in US unemployment.
Joblessness fell to 7.5% in April, its lowest since December 2008, in news that pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average past 15,000 briefly and saw Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index pass 1,600 for the first time. After the initial surge the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged back below 15,000 in the afternoon, while Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index also slipped back below 1,600.
Figures from the US labour department came after a week of worrying signals for the US’s fragile economic recovery as the Federal Reserve warned that Washington’s budget cuts were holding back the economy.
Federal budget reductions, triggered by the sequestration spending cuts, started in March and initial estimates of the immediate impact on jobs was negative. However, those figures were revised up alongside the publication of the April data. The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) dampened fears of a slowdown on Friday as it declared that the US had added 114,000 jobs over February and March.
In a note to clients, Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at trader BTIG, said sequestration seemed to have had “little to no effect on this report”.
The number of long-term unemployed – those jobless for 27 weeks or more – declined by 258,000 to 4.4 million and their share of the total declined by 2.2 percentage points to 37.4%. Over the past 12 months the number of long-term unemployed has decreased by 687,000, and their share has declined by 3.1 points.
The BLS said that over the prior 12 months employment growth had averaged 169,000 per month. The figure is still low after revisions but the latest report paints a far healthier picture of the jobs market than had been expected.
The private sector added 176,000 new jobs last month. Professional and business services added 73,000 jobs in April and have added 587,000 jobs over the past year, said the BLS.
Employment in temporary help services rose 31,000, professional and technical services added 23,000, and retail trade employment increased by 29,000 in April. The BLS said last month that retail had shed 24,000 jobs, triggering concerns about a slowdown in spending after the imposition of payroll taxes at the end of the year. The manufacturing sector, a closely watched gauge of broader economic strength, was unchanged in April, while government employment fell by 11,000.
Former Pearson CEO draws parallels between Europe and US and says current government is ‘pandering to Ukip’
Dame Marjorie Scardino, the first woman chief executive of a FTSE 100 company, has said she believes the UK business community will ultimately back the European Union in any referendum on Britain’s membership.
Scardino, who was chief executive of Financial Times and Penguin owner Pearson for 16 years until the end of 2012, said she thought business leaders were intelligent enough to know where their best interests lay, which was in closer European integration – even though her faith in the British business community generally was “at a nadir”.
“I think they will be for Europe in the end. I think the business community is smart enough to realise that just having a trade union is not enough,” she said. “They are smart enough to know they need to be part of a union that has political and financial power.”
In January, David Cameron announced that if the Conservatives won the next election, they would hold an in-out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU before the end of 2017.
The prime minister also said that before that he would be seeking a new settlement between the UK and Brussels, through a full treaty renegotiation or other means, to repatriate powers to Britain, and that he wants the EU to abandon its commitment to “ever closer union”.
Scardino made the comments on the EU referendum during a question and answer session after delivering the 2013 Hugo Young lecture in London on Tuesday evening.
In her speech, she said she thought Young, the pro-European former Guardian political columnist who died in 2003, would “likely have scolded the government for pandering to Ukip”.
Scardino, who was born and raised in Texas but has lived in the UK for 20 years, also said the EU was in need of leaders of the stature of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to help it through its current political and financial malaise.
In a speech that drew comparisons between the EU and the development of the US as a political union over more than two centuries, she added that having a single, strong leader was one of the factors that had helped her native country survive numerous political crises that could have torn it apart, including the civil war.
Answering a question on this point, Scardino said she thought there was a “such a paucity of imagination among politicians and business leaders” responsible for making decisions about the EU’s political and financial future.
“If you don’t have anyone brave enough to say, ‘We’ve got to have something to bind ourselves together,’ you are never going to have [a sense of union like the US has],” she added. “The politics of Europe is unimaginative and bureaucratic.”
However, Scardino said another lesson from the history of the US was that building a union between disparate groups of people takes time, above all else.
She added that the US grew from 13 British colonies that shared a common language and culture, where as the EU was trying to forge closer union from countries that in some cases had been in existence for more than 1,000 years, with “very, very long histories and very well-dug-in legacies”.
“It’s not about legislatures being more compromising; it’s not about anything other than time. It takes a long time to build democracy, to build freedom.”
The annual Hugo Young lecture is organised by the Scott Trust, the owner of the Guardian.
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The US economy added just 88,000 jobs in March, the lowest rise for nine months, official data shows.
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After two weeks of modest outflows, investors added $849 million to U.S. stock mutual funds.
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The US economy added 236,000 jobs in February, while the jobless rate eased to 7.7%, lifting hopes for a sustainable recovery.
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National Employment report showed private employers added 198,000 jobs with orders for goods slowly increasing
Private employers in the US hired more workers than expected in February and demand for a range of factory goods was solid in January.
The reports on Wednesday suggested economic activity picked up after it stalled in the final three months of 2012.
Private employers added 198,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the ADP National Employment Report showed, handily beating economists’ expectations for an increase of 170,000. There were solid gains in construction, where payrolls rose by 21,000 jobs.
Adding to the report’s firm tone, January’s count was revised to show 23,000 more jobs added than previously reported. The report is jointly developed with Moody’s Analytics.
“It feels like underlying job growth continues to improve, and at the current pace, this should be enough to start bringing down unemployment,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. The jobless rate is currently at 7.9%.
“In a really rip-roaring economy, we’d be creating closer to 300,000 jobs a month or a bit north of that. So we’re not there yet, but we’re moving in the right direction,” he said.
A separate report from the Commerce Department showed orders for manufactured goods dropped 2%, weighed down by a plunge in demand for transportation equipment.
But orders excluding the volatile transportation category increased a healthy 1.3%, pointing to underlying strength in a sector that carried the economy out of the 2007-09 recession.
The department also said non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, increased by a more robust 7.2% in January instead of 6.3%, as it reported last week.
That optimism was also captured in the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which showed growth improving gradually in January and early February, largely thanks to a broad-based housing market recovery.