Marie GOUYON, Frédérique PATUREAU
january 2014
8 p.

Over the last twenty years, the number of artists and technicians in the audiovisual and performing arts sectors has doubled. Brought about by an increase in intermittent paid employment, this growth in the workforce comes with a highly dynamic employment market in terms of new business creation (particularly within the performing arts sector) and in terms of the volume of work available. Nevertheless, the growth in the number of professionals has outstripped that of available jobs, leading to poorer individual prospects, as evidenced by an almost 25% drop in the annual volume of work and wages throughout the 1990s. As of 2008, an upturn in the workforce has coincided with a long-term downward trend for activity and incomes for activity and incomes

Artists and technicians are affected by these changes in different ways. In 2009, artists declared an average 44 days’ work per annum for a gross annual income of  € 9,200, whilst technicians declared 82 days’ work per annum for an average annual income of  € 16,600. Artists therefore record far lower average annual periods of employment and pay levels than technical workers; unemployment benefits consequently account for a much higher proportion of their overall income.

Moreover, over the course of twenty years, job flexibility and insecurity has increased: periods of employment have fragmented into a greater number of short-term contracts. Here again, artists and technicians’ situations differ: in 2009, artists declared an average of 15 employment contracts per annum as compared with 7 in 1990, with each averaging 3 days in 2009, compared with 10 days twenty years earlier. Performing arts technicians, on the other hand, declared an average of 14 employment contracts per annum as compared with 6 in 1990, with each averaging 6 days in 2009, as compared with 14 days twenty years earlier.