The entertainment industry remains one of the largest sectors in the local economy, employing 247,000 people and generating $47 billion in economic output in 2011, according to a report released today by the LA County Economic Development Department. But there are disturbing trends. The film and TV biz has lost 16,100 jobs in LA County since 2004, much of that attributed to runaway production, according to the report. During the same 2004-2011 period, New York added 14,100 jobs while Georgia saw an increase of nearly 800 jobs. And Louisiana added over 2,200 jobs since implementing its own tax credit program in 2002. Last year, 102,100 entertainment industry jobs were generated in LA County, down 14% from its peak of 118,200 jobs in 2004. On-location filming in LA has plunged by 60 percent over the past 15 years, the report noted. In 2005, 82% of all new television pilots were shot in Los Angeles County. By 2011 that figure had sunk to 51%. The report did credit the state Legislature’s decision to extend the Film and Television Tax Credit Program for two more years, noting it has been responsible for an estimated $3.8 billion in economic output. The average annual wage in the entertainment industry was $117,000 in 2011, more than twice the average of $53,000 for all private-sector industries. The industry generates $120 billion annually in output and $6 billion in state and local taxes, according to the LAEDC.
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