COVID-19: Grim numbers for the entertainment industry in 2020


Jobs in the UK’s entertainment industry have fallen sharply over the course of 2020, data from the Office of National Statistics has revealed.

A report found that vacant jobs in the entertainment industry plummeted from over 23,000 in the first quarter of 2020, to as few as 2000 in the second.

This was not met by an increase in held jobs, with employment figures in the industry decreasing by 35,000 across the same period.

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Source: Office of National Statistics

GDP figures show a massive decrease as well — with the GDP of the entertainment industry’s second quarter being half that of the first.

During the lockdown, cinemas were forced to close, with the UK’s biggest chain Cineworld reporting a loss of over one billion dollars during the first half of 2020.

The industry attempted to recover after lockdown, but when Christopher Nolan’s anticipated movie ‘Tenet’ only made modest box office figures, and James Bond movie ‘No Time to Die’ was delayed for a second time, the struggle of the industry was made clear.

Other parts of the entertainment industry have struggled similarly, having to close their doors during lockdown.

The West End, for instance, has had the reopening of Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ delayed.

Going forward, the statistics from the ONS show a slight recovery in job vacancies after the slump of the second quarter, and the industry’s GDP has bounced back — but not to pre-lockdown levels.

However, the announced temporary closure of Cineworld may be a fresh threat to recovery.

What are your thoughts on how the industry has managed the COVID-19 crisis? Comment below, or join the conversation on Twitter.


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