Dave McNary reports for Variety, Sept. 10, 2014, that preliminary statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show a steady erosion of jobs in the motion picture and sound industries.
Employment in those two industries has dropped to 298,000 in August — marking the first time in the past decade that the number has dropped below 300,000. To better understand the 298,000 jobs, that figure is:
- 8% decline from a year ago when total employment in the motion picture and sound industries was 324,600 jobs.
- 19% decline from 2 years ago when total employment was 366,300 jobs in August 2012.
Hollywood’s declining employment will continue. On Sept. 4, Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara told the studio’s 8,000 employees that layoffs were coming at every level.
The industry has been hit by a sharp decline in domestic box office, with summer business generating the poorest total in eight years. Additionally, production incentives outside the U.S. have continue to lure producers to use international locations.
The BLS stats showed that average hourly earnings of $29.20 in July for all employees and $23.71 for non-supervisory employees.
The Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) statistics for 2012 — the most recent period covered by the industry group — asserted that the industry supports a total of 1.9 million direct and indirect jobs for a total of $111 billion in total wages in 2012, with the direct jobs generating $46 billion in wages, and an average salary 43% higher than the national average. “There were over 293,000 jobs in the core business of producing, marketing, manufacturing, and distributing motion pictures and television shows,” the MPAA said. “These are high quality jobs, with an average salary of $86,500, 76% higher than the average salary nationwide.”
The MPAA estimates that there were nearly 360,000 jobs in related businesses that distribute motion pictures and TV shows to consumers. The “indirect” jobs include caterers, dry cleaners, florists, hardware and lumber suppliers, and digital equipment suppliers. This also includes jobs in other fields that do business with consumers, such as DVD and Blu-ray retailers and employees at theme parks and tourist attractions.
I read some of the 259 comments on this article on Variety. The comment below is representative:
I think folks are tired of going to the movies and having liberal agendas shoved down their throats instead of entertainment. Hollywood has alienated a huge segment of America that simply does not agree and the box office reflects that..
Bear in mind that Hollywood employment is plummeting DESPITE the 20% tax cut “the entertainment industry” has enjoyed since the 1950s.
And they want more: A bill in Sacramento will increase California’s “incentives” for Hollywood from the current $100 million to $400 million a year. (See DCG’s post on this, here.)
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