Movie industry has shed 16,000-plus jobs in LA since 2004, study says

By Tim Kenneally

LOS ANGELES ( - The motion-picture industry has lost more than 16,000 jobs in Los Angeles County since the peak year of 2004, according to a new study by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

And according to the study, "runaway productions" that have moved out of the county due to tax incentives in other areas could be to blame.

The study noted that the motion-picture and video production sector of the entertainment industry - the largest segment of the industry in Los Angeles County - was responsible for 118,200 jobs in the county in 2004, a peak year for the sector. In 2011, by contrast, that number dropped to 102,100 - a 13.6 percent decrease that accounts for 16,100 jobs.

"Arguably, runaway production has had a deleterious effect on industry employment," the report notes. "New York State alone added 14,100 jobs in this sector over that period, while Georgia added nearly 800 jobs. Meanwhile, Louisiana added over 2,200 jobs since implementing its own tax-credit program in 2002. Other states added jobs in the sector as well."

The study also points out other factors that could account for the job drain, such as piracy and international competition in such farflung areas as Canada, India and Nigeria, which surpassed Hollywood in 2009 as the second-largest film producer in the world, following India's Bollywood, according to a report from UNESCO's Institute for Statistics.

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