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It's been four years since our last ArtsPay survey to gauge the realities of earnings in the sector - four years of upheaval including Brexit, Covid and the cost-of-living crisis. We hope this latest report, from our editorial partners Baker Richards, together with analysis from the Arts Professional news team, contributes to the understanding of the state of arts pay in 2022.

ArtsPay full report image

Periodically, Arts Professional undertakes Pulse research to gather important data about the arts and culture sector.

This latest Pulse research - ArtsPay 2022 - comes at an important moment. Unlike the previous survey run in 2018, these results are published at a time of rising inflation and during significant ongoing pandemic-related challenges. Both are affecting the spending power of individuals and organisations alike. 

                       ArtsPay 2022: read the full report here

Broadly speaking, two pictures emerge from this research.  

The first comes from the hard numbers relating to pay. These show salaries largely keeping pace with national averages, and progress on gender pay gaps and pay differentials. Where there are departures from these headlines, we have highlighted them. But overall, the numbers tell a story that, even if not overwhelmingly positive, isn’t particularly negative. 

The second picture emerges from the personal stories respondents shared, away from the checkboxes and drop-down menus, reaching into areas of compensation beyond headline pay. They are stories of struggle, inequities, challenges in career progression, insecurity and precarity, poor terms and conditions, insidiously eroded hope and more than a little despair. They reveal a strong sense of injustice and provide context for understanding the talent drain which has undoubtedly affected the arts and culture sector post-pandemic. 

While the personal stories speak for themselves, we have added our explanation and interpretation of the data. 

On social media, at conferences, in policy forums, on Zoom and on the webpages of Arts Professional, the conversation about the future state of arts and culture in the UK is ongoing. ArtsPay 2022 is a contribution to that debate. 

Arts Professional has also written analysis to accompany the report. Follow the links below to read the related content.

AP News

ArtsPay Survey 2022: preliminary findings Initial findings of ArtsPay 2022 survey reveal earnings growth for full and part-time workers failing to keep pace with inflation, but freelancers buck the trend. 

ArtsPay survey indicates gender pay gap narrowing Survey suggests pay inequality between men and women is decreasing, but comparisons with 2018 data suggest that some wage increases could represent real-terms cuts.

Arts salaries show evidence of class premium Concerns raised over ''lack of support" for working class people in the arts as figures show they earn less than peers from higher socioeconomic backgrounds.

Comments submitted to ArtsPay survey point to sector in crisis Respondents to the ArtsPay survey say the rising cost of living and historic low levels of pay are causing unsustainable working conditions and forcing people out of the sector.

Younger arts workers 'priced out of London' ArtsPay survey findings suggest workers in the capital are not being paid enough to cover the costs of living in London.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the survey to help create what we believe will be an invaluable resource in the reinvention of the arts and culture sector.

Ruth Hogarth, Editor, Arts Professional

Ruth Hogarth