The relationship between creative employment and local economies outside capital cities

Greg Hearn, Stuart Cunningham, Marion McCutcheon, Mark David Ryan

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Is the creative economy only an urban phenomenon? Creative employment data and Gross Regional Productivity (GRP) were analysed for 487 local government areas (LGAs) in Australia. Total creative employment correlates strongly with GRP for all categories of creative occupation. Creative intensity – that is, the number of creatives relative to total employment – increases with size of GRP, except in the visual arts. However, there are differences in regions varying according to population, GRP and remoteness. The creative intensity of digital and marketing occupations correlates with GRP across all regions, excluding very remote areas. Creative intensity of media, art and architecture occupations has a more diverse relationship with GRP across Australia. These empirical results are exemplified via qualitative case studies of three diverse LGAs. In the future, there may be surprising niche opportunities for non-urban creative work, but in general, growing LGAs are more prospective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe future of creative work
Subtitle of host publicationCreativity and Digital Disruption
EditorsGreg Hearn
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9781839101106
ISBN (Print)9781839101090
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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