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MPAA: Film, TV Industry Paid Out $49 Billion in 2016

The American film and television industry paid out $49 billion to local businesses across the country in 2016, according to the Motion Picture Association of America.

The MPAA, which represents the six major studios, announced on Tuesday that the film and television industry supported 2.1 million jobs in 2016 — up 100,000 from the previous year. Total wages paid out rose by $4 billion to reach $139 billion, with an average salary 42% higher than the national average.

The MPAA also said jobs directly related to the production and distribution of films and TV shows increased by 24,000 over the prior year to nearly 700,000 jobs.

“While the awards season often focuses on glitz and glamour, it’s important to recognize that the impact of America’s film and television industry extends far beyond the red carpet,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman and chief executive officer of the MPAA. “This industry is one of the nation’s most powerful cultural and economic resources, supporting 2.1 million hard-working Americans in all 50 states and hundreds of thousands of local — mostly small — businesses.”

The MPAA explained that its annual update covers 2016 rather than 2017 due to its main employment data source, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, releasing the necessary data near the end of each year for the prior year. It also said the rapid growth of creative content development and the industry’s digital transformation has bolstered the economic contributions with an estimated 454 original series airing in 2016.

It also said the number of businesses that make up the film and television industry rose by 5,000 to hit 93,000 in 2016 and said 87% of those are small businesses that employ fewer than 10 people.

“In all, film and television supports 400,000 local businesses, with the industry making $49 billion in payments to these enterprises,” the MPAA said. “The U.S. film and television industry is also a key player in markets around the world, with demand for creative content continuing to grow. The industry registers a positive balance of trade in nearly every country with $16.5 billion in exports worldwide.”

There were nearly 342,000 jobs in the core business of producing, marketing, manufacturing, and distributing motion pictures and TV shows with an average salary of $90,000 — 68% higher than the average pay nationwide.

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