Methodological approaches for measuring the creative employment: a critical appraisal with an application to Portugal
Creative industries and creative occupations have increasingly been attracting attention in recent years, in both policy and academic fields. Not enough literature has yet been produced on the topic to overcome the fuzziness and all-embracing definitions of the creative class, the lack of objectivity in the criteria to select who is creative or not, the limitations of data used and problems of highly aggregated occupational categories which jeopardize an accurate analysis of these workers. This paper presents a survey and mapping of the main methods for measuring the creative class and industries and proposes a combined industry and occupation-based approach for estimating the scale of creative employment in Portugal. Using micro data from 2009 Quadros de Pessoal database, which encompasses over 3 million workers, we found that creative employment in Portugal amounts to 6.9% of total employment (i.e., 215525 workers), with the most important creative sectors being ‘advertising and marketing’ (1.7%), ‘software publishing/computer programming and consultancy’ (1.8%), and ‘research and development’ (0.9%). Additionally, we found that most creative employees (60%) work in non-core creative sectors, that is, Portuguese creative workers are highly dispersed across all the sectors of the economy, particularly those considered non-creative, such as the manufacturing and the services sectors.
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