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Employment in cultural occupations
Involvement in culture and leisure activities
Cultural work is often intermittent, unpaid or not a person's main job. Therefore, the 2001 Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities Survey, conducted by the ABS, collected data about the involvement of people aged 15 years and over in such activities over a 12-month period.
During the 12 months prior to interview in April 2001, an estimated 2.5 million people (16.8% of the Australian population aged 15 years and over) were involved in some form of paid or unpaid work relating to the culture and leisure activities covered in the survey. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest participation rate in culture and leisure activities for residents aged 15 years and over (28.8%), and this was significantly higher than the participation rate for all persons (16.8%) (table 12.20). These figures exclude involvement solely for the respondent's own use or that of their family.
More people had paid involvement in writing (214,800), design (210,700) and visual art activities (175,800) than in any other culture or leisure activity in the survey. Of those involved in writing, 40.0% received payment; for design, 60.2% received payment; while for visual art activities, 34.9% received payment. The activity with the highest percentage of people with paid involvement was television, with 64.6% of the 83,600 people involved receiving some payment.
According to the 2002 General Social Survey, conducted by the ABS, 23% of adults participated in church or religious activities during the three months prior to interview. Women (26%) were more likely than men (20%) to have participated in church or religious activities. This pattern was evident among all age groups. As with religious affiliation, participation in church or religious activities tended to increase with age. Among 18-24 year olds, 23% of women and 16% of men had participated in church or religious activities. Rates for people 65 years and over were higher at 29% for women and 24% for men.
The Voluntary Work Survey conducted by the ABS in 2000 found religious organisations received unpaid help from 743,400 people aged 18 years and over, of whom 60% were female. There were also an estimated 280,200 people (about 2% of the adult population) undertaking voluntary work for heritage and arts organisations. Of these, 58% were female and 42% were male. Some of these people provided voluntary work to more than one organisation, so there was a total of 306,400 voluntary involvements in heritage and arts organisations. The most common type of heritage or arts involvement was with organisations involved in the performing arts (102,600 or 34% of all heritage and arts involvements). By comparison, the Voluntary Work Survey found the level of volunteerism was higher for organisations categorised as 'sports and physical recreation', 'education, training and youth development' and 'community and welfare' each receiving help from about one million people.
Household expenditure on culture
Regular surveys on household expenditure are conducted by the ABS, with the most recent conducted in respect of 1998-99. Findings from this survey showed households spent, on average, $27.19 per week on selected cultural goods and services in 1998-99 (table 12.21), which was 3.9% of their average weekly expenditure on all goods and services. From 1984 to 1998-99, total household expenditure on culture increased by 45.7% after adjusting for price changes. The 1998-99 survey found cultural items for which average household expenditure was relatively large included books ($3.11 per week), televisions ($2.62 per week), newspapers ($2.54 per week) and pre-recorded compact discs and records ($1.91 per week).