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- Publishing: characteristics of the workforce
Publishing: characteristics of the workforce
The publishing sector employed just under 195,000 people in 2010, with 26%, 50,500, in the journal and periodicals industry [2010 Labour Force Survey]. 46% of the workforce in the sector as a whole, and 56% of the journals sub-sector, are women. 4% of the workforce is from a black or minority ethnic background and 12% of the workforce has some form of disability.
Over a third of the workforce (38%) are employed in technical occupations, largely journalists, editors and PR officers and designers. These are the roles most likely to be occupied by doctoral graduates, whilst 28% of the sector are employed in management jobs [Publishing - Labour Market Intelligence Profile]. Most (51%) of the workforce holds a degree or higher.
9% of employers in the sector state that they specifically value postgraduate qualifications amongst their employees, and this proportion rises to 18% for newspapers. Some specialist academic book and journal publishers require postgraduate qualifications in their staff. Most publishing employers do not specify necessary degree subjects, although in some sub-sectors, media and publishing-related degrees are a distinct advantage; contrary to some reports, the newspaper industry is the most enthusiastic about media studies or related degrees.
12% of employees in publishing, work freelance. This applies throughout the sector and also specifically in the journals sub-sector. 44% of employers in the sector (39% of journal employers) employ freelancers, and one in six employers expect demand for freelancers to continue in the next twelve months. Most freelancers are women, and the proportion of freelancers in the industry means that many employees work for multiple employers across the various publishing sectors; 11% of the whole publishing workforce, and 20% of the journals workforce had been employed in another branch of the publishing sector within the previous 12 months.
Research into recruitment suggests that there is significant movement within the industry, with about a fifth of new employees (21%) coming from elsewhere in the sector. 37% came directly from education, and 43% from elsewhere [Publishing - Labour Market Intelligence Profile]. 45% found their job through an advertisement, and this is the most common method for doctoral graduates to find a job in the industry.
The 2010 Creative Media Workforce Survey from Skillset found that the average working day in the sector was 8.1 hours, with the journal sub-sector averaging 7.8 hours. A third of the workforce average more than 9 hours a day, but this is partly attributable to freelancers, who typically work longer days.
35% of the publishing workforce (28% in journals) has worked unpaid in the sector at some point in their career - unsurprisingly, it is the newspaper industry where the figures are highest, with 49% of the workforce having worked for free. Many people in the sector report a growing trend towards more unpaid internships, word-of-mouth recruitment, and recruitment through friends and family with deleterious implications for the diversity and talent mix of the sectors involved.
The sector tends to engage in employee development, with 46% (42% of the journals sector) funding or arranging learning and development, mainly through external courses, mentoring and coaching arrangements and ad-hoc delivery. Most employers maintained training budgets through the recession and the expectation seems to be that more learning will be offered as the economy improves. The sector does - and needs to - contain a great deal of innovation but has not traditionally conducted much formal research and development as seen in more conventional, technical industries. This may change as technologies and delivery platforms evolve.
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