Articles core audiovisivo

The main job factors in the audiovisual sector

by Domenico Sturabotti | 27.05.2019

Share on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

In recent years, a growing interest in advanced tertiary sectors has led stakeholders to focus their attention on issues related to creativity. As revealed by successful researches, this takes place because the link between the territorial presence of these activities and the creation of wealth is increasingly evident, especially in mature economies.

One of the areas that these surveys mainly focused on is related to the audiovisual sector, with particular attention to those activities specifically linked to theatrical film production and distribution. These activities are related to the metropolitan dimension and are essentially labor-intensive and associated to high-profile skills.

The very importance of the professional dimension of human capital employed by audiovisual companies urges this document to examine the main characteristics of those who work in the sector, grouped in five overall productive classes:

59.11 – Theatrical films, video and TV shows production, post-production and distribution

59.12 – Theatrical films, video and TV shows post-production

59.13 – Theatrical films, video and TV shows distribution

59.14 – Theatrical films screening

60.20 – TV programming and broadcasting

Within these activities, the employment of labor force in the sector can therefore be analyzed by identifying the main professional categories drawn by the official statistics (by the fourth digit of the Professions classification carried out by Istat): 2552- Directors, artistic directors, actors, scriptwriters and set designers; 3172 – Operators of audio-video recording and production equipment; 3432 – Technicians in the organization of radio, TV, theatrical and stage production. Other professions.

Overall, these three categories account for 46.8% of the sectoral employment (within the five productive classes), with equipment operators accounting for more than a quarter (25.9%) alone. Next, production technicians (12.2%), directors, art directors, actors and screenwriters (8.7%).

Breakdown of Film&TV professions by main categories

Year 2017 (percentage shares)

The data that emerge describe a production system where work is concentrated mainly in the 35-44 age group (36.5% against a national average of 27.2%), while the over 55 account for just 14.8%; 5.6 percentage points lower than the rest of the economy.

Also, over the six years between 2011 and 2017, the tendency to hiring has decreased, eventually affecting the younger generation (under 35) within the sectoral employment.

Breakdown of Film&TV professions by age groups

Years 2011 and 2017 (percentage shares)

The breakdown by educational qualifications shows an extremely favorable framework, with more than a third of the workers in the sector holding a university degree (33.7%); over ten percentage points above the Italian average (23.0%).
Among the hired employees, 76.7% work under a permanent contract, while the work-for-hire contracts affect the whole significantly when compared to the rest of the economy (15.4%), which is essentially explained by the temporary nature of the activities carried out within the sector. Finally, only a minor part (just over 10%) lacks a high-school diploma; this data certifies the workforce quality employed by the sector, seen and considered that the percentage referred to other sectors abundantly exceeds a third share on equal terms.

Breakdown of Film&TV professions by educational qualifications

Year 2017 (percentage shares)

The internal subdivision shows that the use of fixed-term contracts have increased from 7.1% to 26.9%, even in the most typical Film&TV professions.

Overall, the increasing flexibility of contractual arrangements doesn’t seem to have spared the audiovisual sector, at a pace similar to that of the entire national economic system.
Part-time professionals seem to not affect the sector particularly (20.2% against a national average of 18.7%), while among professional positions, the internal composition of the sector seems to reward executives (10.9% against 5.1%) and employed office workers (47.6% against 33.4%).

Breakdown of Film&TV professions by types of contract

Years 2011 and 2017 (percentage shares)

Obviously, the tertiary nature of the sector restricts the need for labor work, which accounts for only 4% (compared to 35.8% of the entire economy).

On the other hand, freelancers, as expected, have a more significant role, given a differential incidence of more than 10 percentage points (29.6% vs 19.5%). This is a typical feature of advanced tertiary activities, where the distinction between freelancers and sole traders is often difficult to identify.

Breakdown of Film&TV professions by professional position

Year 2017 (percentage shares)