UK Music has urged the Government to take action to protect the music industry from an ?economic storm? as it continues to recover from damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.

The organisation, which represents the collective interests of the production side of the UK?s commercial music, said the sector had experienced a ?fragile recovery? as it revealed the industry was still significantly behind in some areas, including employment, compared with before the pandemic.

Bosses said the annual report showed the urgent need for support from new Prime Minister Liz Truss to reduce the tax burden on the music industry, incentivise investment and help boost exports.

The 2022 This Is Music report is based on data collated from across the music industry in 2021.

Key findings include that the UK music industry?s contribution to the UK economy in 2021 was ?4 billion, up 26% on ?3.1 billion in 2020, but still down 31% on the pre-Covid all-time high of ?5.8 billion in 2019.

Likewise, employment in the music industry rose to 145,000 jobs in 2021, up 14% on 128,000 jobs in 2020, but down 26% on the pre-Covid record of 197,000 jobs in 2019.

Exports in the sector also rose in 2021 to ?2.5 billion, up 10% on the ?2.3 billion figure in 2020, but still down 15% on ?2.9 billion in 2019.

Despite the ongoing recovery, the report also highlighted British musical success stories from last year.

In 2021 the biggest selling album in the world was Adele?s highly-anticipated 30, with Ed Sheeran?s = the fourth best-selling, and Dua Lipa?s Future Nostalgia in sixth place.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said the music industry still faces a ?major threat from strong economic headwinds?.

?The UK music industry is working hard to recover after the catastrophic impact of Covid, but there is still some way to go to restore the jobs and growth lost during the pandemic,? he said.

?Our sector still faces a serious threat from the economic storm that could blow our fragile recovery off course without urgent Government support.