Television Listings

Study details positive economic impact of showbiz

By Georg Szalai

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - The movie and TV industry contributed 2.5 million jobs and $41.1 billion in wages to the U.S. economy in 2007, according to a Motion Picture Association of America report.

That's up from more than 1.3 million jobs and $30.2 billion in 2005, as reported by the Hollywood trade group in its inaugural economic impact report a couple of years ago.

In another key finding, there has been a shift of top production states beyond the traditional entertainment powerhouses of California and New York. Illinois, Texas and Florida are among those that have become more important industry hubs, while Nevada, Arizona and Montana are among those that have lost some luster.

The impact study, most of whose data is for 2007 despite the inclusion of some 2008 figures, shows that more than 285,000 people were employed in the core business of producing, marketing, manufacturing and distributing films and TV shows. The average salary of employees in the core production-related space came in just below $75,000 for 2007, 75 percent higher than the average salary nationwide, the MPAA found. For 2005, the average pay of $73,000 was nearly 80 percent above the U.S. average.

Overall, there are more than 115,000 entertainment firms in the 50 U.S. states -- and 81 percent of them employ fewer than 10 people.

More than 478,000 work in industry functions in related businesses, such as movie theaters, video rental firms, broadcasters, cable operators and online ventures like Hulu.com and TV.com. The motion picture and TV industry also supports an additional 1.7 million jobs indirectly, up from nearly 1 million in 2005, at companies doing business with Hollywood players, such as apparel retailers, car rental firms, caterers, dry cleaners, transportation companies and lumber and hardware suppliers.

The industry also boosts the cash in state and federal coffers -- a key argument in debates over the value of production tax incentives. Taxes paid by film and TV workers in 2007 and sales taxes on goods and services amounted to $13 billion, up $3 billion from 2005.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

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