Film, TV Employment to Climb

A regional economic group’s midyear forecast predicts an uptick in Hollywood employment this year followed by similar job gains in 2011 — provided the town doesn’t go on strike.

“Next year, we are looking for an increase of about 15,000 jobs,” said Jack Kyser, economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. “But there is a big asterisk on that because in the middle of 2011, you have all the Hollywood labor contracts expiring.”

Combined film and TV employment would reach a total of 170,400 jobs if the LAEDC forecast holds up, though Kyser said all bets are off if one or more guilds walk the picket line.

He recalled the devastating economic impact of the 100-day WGA strike in 2007-08. “The writers are still feeling the impact,” Kyser said.

Overall, jobs recovery is showing good momentum in Los Angeles County and adjoining communities, he said.

“We have seen a very nice rebound in motion picture and TV employment,” Kyser said. “A lot of that is due to the rebound in advertising activity — people are shooting ads, and the broadcast networks are ordering a lot of pilots and series. You also have a modest positive impact from the state film-production incentives.”

For this year, the LAEDC estimated regional entertainment employment at 155,300 jobs. That includes 137,400 people employed in the motion picture and sound industries and 17,900 in television and radio.