International Creative Economy

Summary & aims

This study looks at employment in the creative economy in the UK, North America and the European Union (EU), and is commissioned by Nesta.



We use the Dynamic Mapping approach developed by Nesta to make cross-country consistent definitions of creative economy occupations and sectors, then look at the size, growth and characteristics of the creative economy labour forces across the study countries, with particular focus on creative intensities: the share of workers in creative industries doing creative work.

To do this we use data from the UK Annual Population Survey, American Community Survey and Occupational Employment Statistics, Canadian Labour Force Survey and 2011 Census, and the EU Labour Force Survey.

Timescale and funder

The study is funded Nesta. It began in September 2014 and will finish in June 2015.


Nesta will publish two reports in Summer 2015, one on UK-North America comparisons and one looking at the UK-EU analysis. The team will develop versions of these into academic papers for peer-reviewed journals.

Staff from NIESR are working alongside Andy Pratt (City University), Tom Kemeny (University of Southampton) and Greg Spencer (University of Toronto).


Ana Rincon-Aznar
Principal Economist


Ana Rincon-Aznar
Principal Economist