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Serbia/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.9 Employment policies for the cultural sector

According to official data from the Office for Statistics, there are 10 827 people permanently employed in the cultural field (for structure of employees in cultural industries, see chapter 4.2.3). In 2006, employment decreased by 5.7% compared to the previous year.

The Table below shows the number of employees by sector.

Table 3:    Number of employees by sector, Serbia, 2006


Number of
employed persons


2 487


1 622



Performing arts

4 458

Heritage protection

1 051



Other cultural activities



10 827

Source:    Statistical Yearbook 2007, Office of Statistics of the Republic of Serbia.

The issue of employment has not been on the Ministry of Culture's agenda, except for recent efforts to transform and reorganise major cultural institutions. In fact, it is the government's general policy to reduce the number of public employees. In practice, the situation is different than official government proclamations concerning the reorganisation of public institutions. In 2004, employment increased by 5.4% compared to the previous year. There are no special working groups or committees that are exploring possibilities to specifically support entrepreneurship in the cultural sector.

Cultural and media professionals, as well as artists, have been very active in creating new cultural and, especially, media institutions (due to the non-existence of a broadcasting regulating body it was relatively easy), such as: radio stations (from 100 in 1995 to 162 in 2000), television stations (from 20 in 1995 to 66 in 2000), and theatres (from 26 in 1989 to 41 in 2000).

Due to these numerous self-employment initiatives, but also of the high "brain drain" of artists and professionals working in the cultural field, as well as the possibilities for employment offered by the marketing sector, the number unemployed in the cultural labour market is not really considered an issue yet. This is expected to change soon, as the numerous generations of artists from private universities appear on the job market.

Chapter published: 17-08-2015

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