UK Music Report: COVID Lockdowns Wiped Out 69,000 Jobs

UK Music released its annual "This Is Music" report.
– UK Music released its annual “This Is Music” report.
The findings are unsurprisingly dire.

UK industry body UK Music has released its annual “This Is Music” report. Key findings of the 2021 edition unsurprisingly include huge drops in employment, the sector’s economic contribution as well as music exports.

Due to the heavy restrictions on professional life, including various lockdowns, imposed in reaction to COVID, “employment plunged by 35% from 197,000 in 2019 to 128,000 in 2020,” the music industry’s economic contribution fell 46% from £5.8 billion to £3.1 billionn in 2020,” and “music exports dropped 23% from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £2.3 billion in 2020,” the summary of the report’s findings reads.
Most of the country’s annual live events, including most festivals, haven’t been able to take place for two years in a row. Pilot events and events that took place after the UK’s July 19 reopening date are the exception.
“Studios and venues were forced to close, and musicians and crew were unable to work. In a sector where three-quarters are self-employed, many were not covered by Government support schemes,” UK Music sums it up.
UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.
UK Music
– UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.
Speaking At the UK Music reception at the Conservative Party Conference 2021.

The result: the huge economic contribution of music to the UK economy almost halved, one of three jobs in the sector got lost, exports suffered.

UK Music’s chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said the report provided “clear evidence of the need for swift Government action to help the music industry to continue rebuilding and return to growth post-pandemic.”
He outlined five key areas where swift action from the Government would help the industry create new jobs and provide a career for many: tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs; urgent action to remove the barriers to touring the EU; a permanent reduction in VAT rate on live music event tickets; more funding and support for music exports; boosting 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. 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.
“In our Music Industry Strategic Recovery Plan we identify the policy interventions required and set out a clear action plan to get the industry back up on its feet.
“With the right support, the UK music industry can help drive the post-pandemic recovery. This Is Music sets out the positive role the music industry can play in our country’s future, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve that.
“Music is a key national asset, part of our history and our heritage. More than that, it’s part of our future. And we can’t value it highly enough.”
The full UK Music report “This Is Music 2021” can be downloaded here.