There is a lack of accurate culture sector employment statistics on a provincial level in Prince Edward Island.
Statistics Canada provides sector-level data through its Cultural Satellite Account but there are serious granularity issues with their industry-level numbers.
Given the high rate of seasonal workers in the cultural sector, there is a high likelihood that employment data is inaccurate in portraying our creative labor force. Specifically, a seasonal cultural worker’s involvement in the cultural sector would not be captured by the census if the worker was engaging in other non-cultural occupations during the period in which that employment data was collected.
Another issue with current creative employment statistics is that data collected only represents an individuals’ primary source of income. For example; if an individual works part-time as a freelance writer, they may not identify as a creative industry worker since the majority of their income is obtained through other sources. Other issues may involve those who are self-employed within the creative sector but do not report this.
Since this data is collected every five years on a federal level it’s likely that it has not accurately represented creative industries on PEI such as the film industry which has undergone a period of rapid growth over the last several years.
By developing better sector-level data we will be able to better identify employment gaps, and be able to create more effective programs and policies to address these gaps.
We plan to engage with PEI industry organizations (Music PEI, the PEI Crafts Council, the Island Media Arts Co-op, and others) to gather employment data and analyze how it relates to Statistics Canada’s numbers.
Work on this project is ongoing and CreativePEI hopes to collect enough data in the near future to better represent the creative labor force on PEI.