Josine Backus
Advisor - Focal Countries | Brazil

Mapping Brazil - Creative Industries: People, Figures & Employment

Mapping Brazil - Creative Industries: People, Figures & Employment

New in 2015: special report on the creative industries of Brazil – by Gabriel Pinto

People who foster the creative industry
The subject of the creative economy in Brazil has gained traction mainly due to the actions of certain people who initiated debates and brought the creative economy to the centre of the discussion of social and economic development. As coordinator of UNCTAD's Creative Economy program and an active evangelist for the creative economy concept, Edna dos Santos Duisenberg set out to sensitize government in Brazil and elsewhere on the need for a proactive agenda for this matter. She also coordinated the Creative Economy Report, which consolidated the first global figures and announced major international initiatives. A key role has also been tirelessly played by speaker, curator and author of some of the leading books on the creative economy Ana Carla Fonseca Reis, who is now heading an extensive array of events and projects in this field. Others actively engaged in outreach efforts for the creative economy are Lala Dezahllin and Léo Feijó. While leading the main Creative Industry development program underway in Brazil, Cristiane Alves at FIRJAN has been devising and executing initiatives such as Fashion Rio, Rio Criativo project and FIRJAN's Creative Industry House. 

On the government side, two former secretaries for the creative economy, Claudia Leitão and Marcos André Carvalho, have fostered creative economy strategies as part of federal government policy and continue to do so through a number of initiatives.

Creative industry figures
In terms of the number of production companies, recent data showed Brazil's creative industry growing 69.1% over ten years, from 148,000 back in 2004 to reach approximately 251,000 in 2013. This progress is even more meaningful when compared to the 35.5% rise in the total for all companies in Brazil – so the number of creative firms grew at double the overall rate for the period. The industry's production reached an estimated R$ 126 billion (€38,122 billion), or 2.6% of Brazil's total in 2013, against 2.1% in 2004, so the Creative Industry's gross product grew 69.8% in real terms against Brazil's 36.4% overall in the same 10-year period.

By 2013, there were 892,500 creative professionals in Brazil against 469,800 in 2004. New hires in the local industry over those ten years totalled 420,000, so its 90% growth was well above the 56% growth rate for Brazil's new employment figures. This means that creative jobs opportunities have expanded not only in absolute numbers but also in relative terms: its share of total Brazilian formal-sector employment was 1.8% in 2013, up from 1.5% in 2004. The source of the above data is Mapping Creative Industries, which divides creative industries into four major segments: Consumption (Architecture, Design, Fashion and Advertising); Culture (Cultural Expressions, Heritage & Arts, Music and Performing Arts); Media (Publishing and Audiovisual) and Technology (R&D, biotechnology and ICT).

Of these major creative subdivisions, Consumption stood out for doubling its number of formally employed workers from 2004 through 2013, and two of its creative sectors were those that grew most in the period. In the Advertising segment the number of professionals more than tripled in just one decade (+238.5%). This trend was impelled mainly by an expanding consumer market as purchasing power rose over the same period. Product and brand differentiation also gained in terms of employment figures, with Design playing a key role in this process as the second fastest growing sector in this period, when it more than doubled the number of registered or formal-sector employees (+104.3%).

On the other hand, Culture's 43.6% growth from 2004 to 2013 lagged behind the 56% growth in Brazil's labour market as a whole. Despite strong growth in Heritage and Arts (+60.9%) and Music (+60.4%), Culture-related segments have been the least dynamic in terms of formal-sector employment figures, with only 7% of Creative-Industry workers. In fact these numbers reflect new employment arrangements (independent professionals), but also the low level of professionalization in this sector in Brazil’s boom period.

Creative employment
São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are the leading states in terms of creative-sector employment with headcounts of 349,000 and 107,000 respectively. The two states combined hold 51.1% of Brazil's 892,500 creative professionals, who account for a significant portion of total employment in these states: 2.5% and 2.3%, respectively, against an average nationwide percentage of 1.8%. In the northeastern region of Brazil, the state of Ceará has most formal-sector creative employment (1.4%) due mainly to its buoyant Fashion industry, which employs 14% of Ceará's creative workers, the highest percentage in the country for this segment and more than twice the nationwide share of 6.4%.

Analysing the trend from 2004 to 2013, every one of Brazil’s states showed increased numbers in formal-sector creative employment, which boosted the relative role of these types of workers in the local economies of 23 states, particularly in Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro, where their share rose from 1.5% to 2.0% and 1.8% to 2.3% respectively. In line with segment-level trends nationwide, most new hires in Santa Catarina were in ICT (+5,200), Design (+4,200) and Advertising (+3,500). Meanwhile Rio de Janeiro's highest growth in terms of numbers employed was in R & D. (+18,000), Advertising (+10,900) and Architecture (+7,700). In relative terms, in both cases, Biotechnology was in the forefront with an increase of 411.9% in Santa Catarina and 239.6% in Rio de Janeiro.

Continue reading Mapping Brazil - Creative Industries: Organizations