Showbiz, Music Industry Jobs Drop 19% in Two Years

DPs Become Directors Wally Pfister

The U.S. economy has seen a steady erosion of jobs in the motion picture and sound industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Preliminary statistics from the BLS show that 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, and representing an 8% decline from 324,600 jobs in August 2013, and a 19% slide from 366,300 jobs in August 2012.

The monthly numbers began edging down in the latter half of 2013 to under 350,000, then slid to 329,900 in December. The figure slid to under 320,000 in February and plunged in May to 302,900.

The BLS report has been issued at a time of uncertainty in Hollywood. 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.

Kate Bedingfield, a spokesperson for the Motion Picture Association of America, pointed out that the BLS stats are a combo of Motion Picture and Sound Recording numbers. Since the specific industries are not broken out, it makes it impossible for the MPAA to assess the changes in its industry.

The BLS stats showed that average hourly earnings of $29.20 in July for all employees and $23.71 for non-supervisory employees.

The MPAA’s 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.

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  1. Rick says:

    A story a few weeks ago in the Calgary Herald talked about the solidifying year round motion picture/television production job picture in Alberta, how good things were looking. When the USA dollar strengthens against global currencies, as it has been lately, production economics shift to favour foreign locations. The number of people employed in the industry probably stays the same or is increasing, even as it might be declining in a particular location like California. The jobs shift elsewhere just as they can return sometime.

    • matteobject says:

      Alberta is another of the foreign locations (UK & NZ being the other two major culprits, but AUS & RSA are getting in on the game too) that pay Hollywood to be there.

      It’s got very little to do with exchange rates and everything to do with film production subsidies, there isn’t a single filming location that’s gained jobs from California by simply being cheaper or better, every last one of them has poached jobs by giving away taxpayer money to bribe Hollywood into shooting there.

  2. John Martin says:

    Go Obama….maybe Hollywood will wake up to the fact that the President is poison to business and the economy.

  3. MichelleSpeaksTheTruth says:

    When Hollywood turned their back on half of America, calling them names and accusing their fellow citizens of racism simply because they don’t support a president who happens to be black, those people stop spending money. See, as conservatives and Tea Party Patriots and members of the NRA, don’t threaten to boycott, we just do it. Now you are beginning to feel the pain of your actions.

  4. Tarquin says:

    Matt Damon. George Clooney. Jamie Foxx. Ben Affleck. Eric Roberts. Johnny Depp. Will Smith. Jim Carrey. Ashton Kutchner. DiCaprio.

    These are some of the actors whom I refuse to see in any role thanks to their constant propagandizing.

  5. us10610 says:

    As Nancy Pelosi would say, they will have more time for family and hobbies without being inconvenienced with work.

  6. Gas Passer says:

    What happened to my comment? Did Hollywood delete it?

  7. No problemo! Just start making more Spanish-language films and lower your box office prices. Soon it will be the Spanish-speakers with all the jobs and the money to spend on Hollywood’s tripe.

  8. The Progressive Hollywood executive hypocrites are acting like the capitalists that they have always been.

  9. Dr_Albert_Gortenbull says:

    Hollywood is beginning to feel the backlash from Obama’s and Kaulifornia’s failed economic policies. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. Albert

  10. rikits says:

    I stopped watching movies with certain actors and actresses in them for making political degrading remarks about people that have different political views.

  11. rita says:

    Excellent news! The limousine liberal Hollywood elitists are finally getting hit in the pocketbooks like the rest of America. The economic policies of their fave, Obama, are biting them on their butts.

  12. Della Bee says:

    Plenty of industry jobs elsewhere. The high cost of doing business in CA is the problem. There are more movies and television productions in history. Atlanta is booming. Taxes drove away Hollywood end of story.

  13. eadecamp says:

    Last movie I watched in a theatre was An American Carol back in 2008. One of the Zucker (Airplaine) brothers has become conservative and came fists flying at the leftists. Gee, surprise surprise, I can’t find it anywhere anymore. I highly recommend it; it’s even funnier if you understand military humor and only a little of the Airplane slapstick.

  14. Dave LaSorte says:

    Hollywood consistently supports Demroids, and Demroid economic policies are what’s killing Hollywood jobs. I love it…

  15. One of the things I do is marketing. What would you think if I gave you this pitch?

    “The first thing we need to do is recognize that our product is entertainment and that because of technology consumers have a lot more choices about what to consume and in some cases find peer-produced entertainment products to be more compelling. That means we have to make our products more appealing in order to compete. To do that, first we make sure that in order to get work or recognition in our industry, you have to publicly promote values that offend roughly half of the target audience. Conventional wisdom says that someone is more likely to be entertaining if they are likable, I think that’s wrong, we need to make our entertainers as unlikeable as possible. Then you make sure the offensive values permeate all of your creative content. The next step is to use your influence to promote political candidates who will make sure that the majority of consumers will have less and less disposable income. You publicly mock those who find themselves in reduced circumstances. Then you lower the quality of your product and raise the price.”

    Would you go for that pitch? A lot of people who think they are brilliant have done so.

    • Vern Snyder says:

      LOVE IT!! DEAD ON!!

      The other thing these moron’s never seem to grasp is something I wrote to a radio station years ago and they actually read my letter on the air. I don’t remember all of what I wrote but it was in response to yet ANOTHER self-gratification award show where Hollywood looks at their fat wallets and their trophy case and thinks that all makes them politically astute and expert foreign policy advisors.

      I remember list ALL the award shows and then said, basically, let’s give them a dose of reality. There’s a reason “Entertainers” at one time were called Jesters. That’s because if they have an intelligent thought it came from a script that someone else wrote. They’re really dumber than a post. They feign “caring for the little guy” while they can’t tell you the price of a gallon of milk or gas because their cook or chauffer buys it for them. Their kids go to schools where common people wouldn’t even be allowed to work in the cafeteria. Their entire life is a fantasy, a facade, fake.

      Then I suggested everyone make a list of EVERYTHING in their life that gets one red cent of their income like rent, food, transportation, clothes, utilities, healthcare, education and, yes, entertainment. Now imagine you just lost a HUGE chunk of your income, which one of those items would you cut out first and probably not miss all that much? I’m betting it’s Entertainment. ROCK BOTTOM on our priorities or needs in life.

      So now that their cronies that THEY helped put in office are bankrupting the country for generations to come and THEY can’t figure out why their industry is hurting? Can there be ANY group of people really THAT stupid or is it their arrogance continually deprives them of intelligent thought?

  16. Ed Gruberman says:

    OMG I finally saw that stupid movie “Battleship” If this is typical of what they are producing, I think 300,000 is way too many people working in movies. Fire them all…

    • Marie says:

      Vern, Ditto!

      I never understood how the below-the-line workers supported the above-the-line limo celebrity when they were making millions and wouldn’t take a pay cut to help them keep their jobs.

      Then they join unions who place restriction and high cost on productions doing business in CA instead of becoming an independent contractor and negotiate their own terms.

      While the production companies take the above-the-line crew to another state or country who will either subsidize their production or give them a tax break while the below-the-line crew are out of work!

      Then they come back and advocate for policies that will continue to screw the below-the-line worker and they and their unions go alone with it. Amazing!

      Companies like Lucasfilm and Dreamworks built studios in Singapore and China to ship their animation work to however, you never here about a backlash on them instead they give them awards and boycott Wall Street who they may have stock in. Unbelievable!

  17. Arminius says:

    Movie are an amazing industry. They insult, degrade and mock half their target market. Then they get hit with the economic poison they helped create. Their reaction to a degraded market is they are surprised and whine about it.

  18. Richard says:

    Turner Classic Movies is enormously popular screening uncut classic movies from the 20 ‘s through the 60’s. Those movies are wonderful. Hollywood. Get a clue.

    • Chuck says:

      I was going to comment on this, but you perfectly sum it up. They ridicule and mock half the market–and half the market responds.

    • If I had a cable subscription, which I don’t and never have had, Turner Classic Movies is the only content that would be of interest to me. Why? Good content, no commercials. If you want me to pay for something, or even go through the trouble of turning on the TV (which I do occasionally on a Sunday evening or so to watch Masterpiece on PBS), the content has to have those two conditions. There aren’t a lot of choices that meet those criteria. I can have way more fun with a used book from a garage sale than with 99% of what comes out of the “entertainment” industry.

  19. Libertarian Advocate says:

    So, now that they are negatively impacted by the manifest incompetence of their progressive god, they suddenly care about the fate of others?

    Ha! of course not, they remain consummate narcissists.

  20. D Schwarz says:

    It’s actually very simple. Most of the screenwriters are gay, so they can’t help themselves to write their world views into their scripts thinking that everyone shares their views. The result is movies with characters and story lines that most people don’t care about or get into, so people are just turning it off and not going. Explosions and special effects can only go so far. If there is a movie I want to see, I’ll wait a month for it to go to the discount theatres where I can see it for $1.50. In most cases that’s all it is worth,. With regard to actors, the more they preach to me on how to live my life, the less inclined I am to watch them at the box office. It’s just that simple.

  21. Maybe if the Hollywood geniuses stopped voting for liberal Democrats they would have jobs.

  22. DramaQueen says:

    To all of you who have written, great job. One of the reasons I don’t go to the movies anymore is that the actors are overexposed, there is nothing special or intriguing about any of them. Everything they do is over glamorized and become part of the main stream media. Putting politics aside, we get a constant rotation of the same men & women playing a role that looks remotely like the role they played in their last movie and the movie before that. Who cares about their politics, or if they went into rehab, what designer they wear on the Red Carpet? In a word, they bore me to death and it carries over into my movie viewing experience.

  23. TastesLikeEmu says:

    Who frelling cares?
    The big stars are all ‘Reality Challenged’ anyway. They think they can tell us what to think, how to behave and challenge our morality for the way we eat and live. In reality, these people loathe their own lives, that’s why they are always trying to act like somebody else while we pay to watch them escape from their own Identity Crisis.
    I don’t know about you, but I ain’t paying $15-$20 to watch.

  24. José Quiñones says:

    Look at that new show “Manhattan.” I was excited to watch a story about the heroes who beat the Nazis to build the A-bomb and end World War II. What do we get? A Jewish main character who is wracked with guilt about dropping the bomb on Nazis (but not about jumping in bed with a coworker behind his back). Meanwhile, his wife is bedding a French woman behind his. His main rival in the project is a harsh jerk of a man who is cheating on his patient, enlightened wife who is a feminist à la Eleanor Roosevelt and whom he does not appreciate or support in her important scientific work. His best friend is a closet gay genius in the mode of Alan Turing (and of course the contrived “coming out” scene). Other messages of the series: Indians good, white people bad. White men see black scientists as coffee fetchers. It’s okay to rape a soldier if you’re a girl (that scene was mega mongo creepy, with a 16-year-old girl forcing a grown adult to let her fondle him or she’d scream). Add to that awful anachronisms like soldiers saying “dude” and a doctor telling someone to phone the Pentagon (not even ground broken till 1949) and the show is a great big joke. Why am I still watching the show, you ask? This is only the first 5 episodes. I thought it HAD to get better. How can you admire or root for any of these characters? Onw of Hitler’s biggest mistakes was to drive out his brilliant Jewish scientists. They were more than eager to help defeat him – not wracked with anachronistic self loathing.

  25. William Ripskull says:

    This pretty much reflects the jobs data around the country. Obama’s economic plan has been an utter failure, and as wealth is being drained from the country, it is getting more and more difficult for the Washington Elite to cover up their disasters with false economic stats. Tell this 19% that the economy is improving. Tell all the people living in tent cities that the economy is improving. Tell the tens of millions of senior citizens who are struggling to get by (who got a meager half percent increase in Social Security because the Feds say inflation is only at 1% when it is really at something closer to 7%) that the economy is improving. And still, many of these people that are suffering support this current administration on the promise of a handout. I guess you reap what you sow.

  26. Gnarls777 says:

    I don’t watch TV or movies – haven’t for years now

  27. Dr3yec says:

    Anytime I see Hollywood struggling , it just brings a huge smile to my face. Next time they should think twice before putting their sick politics into movies. Two things that will make me turn off a movie in 2 sec, gays and politics. Both are huge turn offs .

  28. Tom Thumb says:

    Maybe this will force them to make actual movies with an actual plot again.

  29. Gary Close says:

    I stopped watching movies at the theater when the “F” word became a common expression, nudity normal and left-centered politics informed the scripts–all I really wanted was a little entertainment not what hollyweird thought normal.

    • I am not surprised by this at all. A country with no jobs health insurance that costs more than we can afford, I can’t afford to go to the movies and I work in the health care industry.
      In addition there is so much nudity and the language is so bad I cant watch much of anything that is out there. So all I can say is as the country goes I guess the entertainment business is going the same way.

  30. John J. says:

    Hate to break it to Hollywood but when you turn out trash people notice. Maybe a lot less patting each other on the back and a lot more substance. In this economy you are going to need a to give us a reason to watch you. Your egos are simply not enough…

  31. ernaldo says:

    Why not do something fresh or original, Hollyweird?

  32. After reading some of the comments, I realize that everybody is just playing the blame game,this has been happening for decades. Basic Econ101

    The main thing is that Los Angels, priced them self out of the market! You don’t need to be in LA, too make it sound like you’er in LA.

    Then there is the lack of good story tellers. Plus the last writers strike, brought us reality TV! Remember folks, they call it, “Show Business!”

    Technology is what is hammering, the final death nails into the the old studio system! you know longer need a huge studio, too produce content! Speaking of content, that huge sucking sound you hear, is the internet.

    I was able to produce content, in the living room of my one bedroom apartment, and have it look like it was done in a studio! It’s just that plane and simple!

    • EarlP says:

      Danny, you’re right for the most part: good writing with today’s technology can produce the a gem. The old Hollywood “system” is dead, has been for a long time, but there is some good stuff on the non-network TV for instance.

      But put one of these lefty, mouthy “stars” in the series or program, it becomes unwatchable – at least for me. For instance, can any self-respecting person watch anything that “starred” an empty-headed “9/11 Truther” and insufferable lefty Mark Ruffalo? or what about Rosie O’Donnell? Unfortunately, the list goes on and on…The fact that these people are still not only employable but celebrated in that industry is indicative of the sickness pervasive in that “community” and its self-destructive tendencies.

      • susan stroud says:

        Earl – you are exactly right. Too bad the left only talks to each other or they’d get some great free advice.

  33. robertfallin says:

    Maybe it has something to do with the idiot control freaks that run this industry. Writers are not allowed to provide even minimal camera direction and suggested music, because it “might offend the director”. Well, producers, director and actors are NOTHING without good stories. Maybe if producers would stop treating spec writers as if they were doing them a favor by looking at their work and stop limiting them to contributing nothing more than an outline, dialogue and eight minutes or one page to pitch their work, we might see more movies that resonate with audiences. Think about it. The only successful movies appearing now started out as either standard or graphic novels.

  34. Gina says:

    I won’t pay a dime to watch all the Hollywood Libs who put this idiot in the White House. I just can’t look at a long list of actors anymore. I’m officially turned off to them.

  35. People want to see Good guys whip Bad guys. Hollywood has zero ability to see the difference anymore.

  36. Chuck Farley says:

    Union jobs. Who cares.

  37. Rick says:

    As long as they pump out crap, I’m out.

  38. Marie says:

    I think Hollywood need to stop blaming everyone else but themselves for their policies driving business in the arms of other countries.

    The same liberals who voted for these policies are the same liberals running to other countries for a bargain.

    When Republicans ran the state Hollywood was thriving however, when they let the Liberals took over look at what has happened to the industry!

    Obama and governor Brown has been running the country and the state for six years and it’s gone to hell for the middle class.

    The only people prosperous are the rich producers and studio heads and the poor Hispanics.

  39. David169 says:

    I for one have not been to a movie or concert in many years. I will not support the majority of actors and musicians who are anti-everything except drugs and promiscuity. They express hate for almost everything I love about the United States, our liberty, our freedom and our Constitution. The last movie I went to see was Lethal Weapon 3 where the Hollywood slime look at a maniac with a flame thrower and say, “What is he , the spokesperson for the NRA?” I was surprise that Mel Gibson after how much he got into making “Braveheart” and the reasons for the Scots rebelling and his buddy says, They won’t let us train with swords so we train with rocks”. Last but not least I can remember Woody Harrilson being the Judas goat for all the impressionable students when they took over the faculty building at UCLA.

  40. HINT>>>>Make better movies….

  41. EarlP says:

    This industry (like network television) is a zombie: “the walking dead”. It just doesn’t know that its dead.

    No one who has any respect for him or herself shells out their ever decreasing hard earned cash to go to the movies anymore to watch, for the most part, the absolute garbage the studios produce year after year: its retread after retread. These studios haven’t had an original idea in decades.

    And the hypocrisy of the people in this industry does not help them: their “holier-than-thou liberal progressiveness” sickeningly contrasts against their limousine-liberal/gated community/private school/illegal nanny and gardener lifestyles. The stars of this industry and studio honchos have generally become the subject of universal derision for their constant lecturing of us “little people” on all the Democrat liberal touchstone issues (immigration amnesty, universal health care, gun control, the value of public schools, the value of big government, etc), just before they are whisked off by their limousine driver, to pick up their kids at the private Academy, and head back to their gated, 24 hour private security compound.

    No, what they’re selling, the ordinary folks (you know those in the fly-over, red states, who, by the way those in the movie industry loathe) ain’t buying anymore.

  42. anon says:

    Hollywood is not immune to the effects of cancerous left-wing ideology. It’s your medicine Hollywood and it must taste real good.

  43. E. Davod says:

    I would guess it all comes down to the quality of the movies. If you make a great one we will come. If you don’t we won’t. That is no different than making cars, appliances, clothes etc.and all else people buy.

  44. Tony Greenberg says:

    Adios ! That’s what happens qhwn 6 weirdo corporations run the media! Don’t let the door hit ya’s ! See ya See ya …wouldn’t wanna be ya! Pfffffftt Thanks for all the demoralizing trash ! (Not!)

  45. Lois says:

    Good point! I guess it’s like the perverse is normal and the normal is perverse! You just walk away, tired of it, and see an agenda!

  46. Lois says:

    I hope this means that more people are waking up and not relying on the external to fulfill their lives!That’s good news. If they are all Twittering, watching reality shows and doing selfies…well, who knew?

  47. Alan says:

    You mean libs care more about money then they do jobs? I thought only the evil republicans did that.

  48. If they made programs and movies that people actually wanted to watch, they’d be making money. Instead, they keep trying to shove liberal-progressive propaganda into the faces of the “flyover country” folks that they disdain so much. If their mass media machine collapses, it will be their own faults.

    • dpharmer says:


      • Dave says:

        Best channel for classics. They once tried colorizing them but people complained, believe it or not. Movies ran out of original story lines around 40 years ago. I watched the original Thomas Crown Affair on TCM years before the substandard remake.

  49. Peter Zapletal says:

    At 23,71 an hour, that’s 47,000 plus a year. Good pay in Mississippi, lousy one in California, because you keep yourself taxed to pay for all those niceties and inviting illegal immigrants to your state. Who said, “Elections have consequences?” Oh. Well. You got his cousin in Jerry Brown.

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