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September 9, 2015updated 10 Sep 2015 1:51pm

6,000 drop in number of UK journalists over two years – but 18,000 more PRs, Labour Force Survey shows

By Dominic Ponsford

Government statistics suggest the number of employed journalists has declined by 6,000 from a peak of 70,000 in 2013.

The latest figures, for the year to June 2015, estimate that 64,000 people in the UK describe themselves as “journalists, newspaper and periodical editors”.

This is a slight increase on the figure for the year to June 2014 of 60,000, but still a decline on the 2013 total.

Meanwhile, the number describing themselves as "public relations professionals" as risen sharply from 37,000 in 2013 to 55,000 in the last data.

The Labour Force Survey figures for 2015 say that of the 64,000 UK journalists: 40,000 are employed full-time and 5,000 are employed part-time; 8,000 are self-employed full-time; and 10,000 are self-employed part-time.

The post-2008 media downturn saw a rapid drop in the number of UK journalists, according to the Labour Force Survey, with the total number falling from 67,000 that year to 58,000 in 2009.

The latest figures suggest that despite the strengthening UK economy, the journalism jobs market remains uncertain.

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But while journalists have fallen in number since 2013, there appears to have been a rapid increase in those paid to provide positive media coverage in the public and private sector.

The Labour Force Survey is based on a quarterly sample of around 100,000 individuals.

The total number working as “journalists, newspaper and periodical editors”  in the UK in the years 2007 to 2015 according to the LFS are as follows

  • 2007: 57,000
  • 2008: 67,000
  • 2009: 58,000
  • 2010: 63,000
  • 2011: 62,000
  • 2012: 65,000
  • 2013: 70,000
  • 2014: 60,000
  • 2015: 64,000.

The total number of UK workers describing themselves as public relations professionals in the years 2007 to 2015 according to the LFS:

  • 2007: 36,000
  • 2008: 27,000
  • 2009: 33,000
  • 2010: 36,000
  • 2011: 39,000
  • 2012: 38,000
  • 2013: 37,000
  • 2014: 45,000
  • 2015: 55,000.

Full data from the UK Labour Force Survey is available here.

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