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Industry employment to rise after decrease in 2009

Showbiz employment in Los Angeles County will increase modestly this year after declining by 9,000 last year to 132,400 jobs, according to a study released Thursday.

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. cited another strong year at the box office, no foreseeable labor issues and a boost in production due to California’s 6-month-old tax credit incentive program.

The study also said there will be a push to stockpile projects this year in anticipation of next year’s expiration of labor contracts. The Writers Guild of America, which struck for 100 days in 2007-08, will see its master contract expire on May 1, 2011, and the SAG, AFTRA and DGA deals all expire two months later.

Report also said that the industry will see gains this year due to NBC’s return to programming of scripted series in the 10 p.m. spot being vacated by Jay Leno. It also notes ongoing infrastructure investment at NBC Universal via its Evolution Project and the Disney/ABC Studios at the Ranch.

However, key issues include changes in the business model, with an intense focus on costs,” the study warned. “Runaway production remains a significant threat.”

Report noted that showbiz employment in L.A. peaked in 1997 with 148,600 jobs and nearly matched that in 2004 with 147,500.

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