A newly-released government study shows that the creative arts have produced thousands of jobs in Iceland, generating millions in revenue each year.
The study is the joint effort of five different ministries, as well as specialist Colin Mercer, researcher Tómas Young, and lecturer at the business department of the University of Iceland Dr. Margrét Sigrún Sigurðardóttir. This team studied the effects of the creative arts on multiple facets of Icelandic society, incorporating literature, music, theatre, film, dance and graphic design, among others.
Their conclusions are that the creative arts generated 191 billion ISK last year alone, and was responsible for the existence of thousands of jobs in the country. Some of these jobs were more directly related than others. For example, graphic design and advertisements for upcoming events, as well as tourist boosts to such events as Airwaves, were also taken into account.
Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir said that the study was very important in assessing Iceland’s options for further employment development. Her ministry intends to put 4 million ISK into researching how the creative arts could improve Iceland’s job creation.
While unemployment is expected to begin decreasing in June of 2011, much of this is pinned on the possible building of an aluminium smelter in the north of the country. A damning environmental assessment from the National Planning Office of the proposed smelter may, however, scuttle the project.