Cultural and creative sectors (CCS) are a significant driver of local development through job creation and income generation, and generate important spillovers to the wider economy. They spur innovation, and are a source of creative skills with strong backward and forward linkages in the economy. Beyond their economic impacts, they also have significant social impacts, from supporting health and well-being to promoting social inclusion and local social capital.

As national and local governments across the OECD reconsider growth models in the wake of COVID-19, cultural and creative sectors can be a driver in a resilient recovery. For this potential to be realised, efforts are needed not only to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on these sectors but also to exploit opportunities and confront longer-term challenges facing the sector, including high rates of precarious employment and structural fragility of many businesses in the sector.

This report provides evidence and guidance to cities and regions on ways to maximise the economic and social impact of culture and support the creative economy. The report outlines trends and issues in CCS employment and business development, cultural participation and public and private funding for CCS. It provides new cross-country comparisons across OECD countries on a selected number of indicators at national and subnational level. The report provides analysis of how CCS contribute to economic growth and inclusion, explains the specificities of CCS employment and business models, and reviews the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on jobs and firms in cultural and creative sectors. It further provides recommendations on how to support CCS and capitalise on the role of culture in national and local recovery strategies.

This report was developed by the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities (CFE), as part of the Programme of Work and Budget of the OECD Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED) Programme. The report was approved by written procedure on 1 April 2022 (CFE/LEED(2022)4).

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