Marie Gouyon, Frédérique Patureau
October 2014
24 p.

Over the last twenty years, the number of people working in the cultural professions has undergone an unparalleled expansion, far outstripping that of the overall working population.
In the early 1990s as now, the profiles of individuals working in these professions and their jobs shared a number of common characteristics which set them apart from the rest of the working population, above and beyond the considerable diversity of jobs covered. In comparison with the working population as a whole, individuals in this group are on average younger, more likely to be male, considerably better qualified and more likely to be from the Paris area. What is notable about employment here is the considerable proportion of unsalaried workers, which has remained constant over the last twenty years (three times higher than that for the working population as a whole) and the much greater flexibility of the workforce (more short-term contracts, part-time working and the holding of multiple jobs).

The cultural professions have naturally been affected by the changes which have taken place within the world of work as a whole since the early 1990s. The continued feminisation of employment, for example, has occurred to just the same extent as it has across the working population as a whole, with the result that some traditionally very masculine cultural professions have seen their female workforce double in the space of twenty years.

Moreover, public policies encouraging decentralisation have led to a slight decrease in the number of Paris-based employees in these professions. Other trends observed across the working population as a whole, such as increasing levels of educational qualifications and an increasingly flexible workforce (two characteristics which have long been typical of the cultural employment field) have similarly continued to rise within this sector, reaching consistently higher levels than those seen within the working population as a whole.