Covid wipes out 1 in 3 music jobs, UK Music reports

Covid wipes out 1 in 3 music jobs, UK Music reports

Posted on: 19 Oct 2021

The industry-funded body is calling on the government to boost recovery from the pandemic with tax incentives and employment boosting measures.


In a report published today (Tuesday 19 October), UK Music has revealed that Covid-19 wiped out 69,000 jobs in the music industry - one in every three.


Over the course of the pandemic, employment fell 35% in the sector from 197,000 in 2019 to 128,000 in 2020. 


The music industry's economic contribution also took a profound hit, falling 46% from £5.8bn to £3.1bn in 2020. Click here to access the full report.



Covid-19 impacted every corner of the music industry as venues were forced to close, musicians and their crews were taken off the road and studios shut down.


In 2019, when employment figures hit 197,000, it was the highest number of jobs ever recorded in the sector. To add insult to injury, exports suffered a 23% drop from £2.9 billion in 2019 to £2.3 billion in 2020.


In a statement, UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the sector – but we are determined to look to the future and focus on recovery.


“With the right support, the UK music industry can help drive the post-pandemic recovery. This Is Music sets out the positive role the music industry can play in our country’s future, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve that."


Culture secretary Nadine Dorries added in a statement: “Until now, our focus has been rescue and reopening. Now the priority is to ensure a strong recovery. The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets, and I give my commitment that the Government will continue to back it every step of the way.”


To read the full report and statements from UK Music, Nadine Dorries and others, click here.

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Article by:

George Boyle



George is a journalism graduate and writer passionate about music and culture. Get in touch via email at