According to the Icelandic Confederation of University Graduates (BHM), total wage payments in the cultural industries have decreased by 40% between the years of 2008 and 2020, and the number of employees in the same sector has shunk by 25%. Artist salaries are also lowest on the market, reports Vísir.
In 2008, approximately 7,000 people were employed by the cultural industries in Iceland, and the total wage payments amounted to 55 billion ISK. Twelve years later, the number of employees has shrunk to a bit more than 5,000 people, and the wage payments to only 33 billion ISK.
The development indicates a persistent downfall in different cultural fields since 2017. BHM’s summary also states that the wage level in cultural industries is lower compared to other industries. For example, total wage payments in the field of media have shrunk by 45%, 41% in the film industry, and 26% in the line of music. The recession began in many sectors somewhat before the pandemic, but the subsequent economic downturn sealed the deal.
The report points out that the salaries in cultural industries have not been developing the same way as others. It states that in the last 10 years, the wage index has rise by 96%, while the artist salaries have risen only 49%. According to BHM, low wages could explain part of the downturn in cultural industries.
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