Actually, Jobs In Making Movies Are On The Rise, Not Falling

from the oh-look-at-that... dept

One of the key talking points that the movie industry likes to bring up concerning the reason it wants SOPA and PROTECT IP is that it has to "protect jobs." In a recent talk by the MPAA's Chris Dodd, he once again talked up how many jobs were being "lost" in the movie industry. First, he pulled out the industry's favorite 2.2 million number, which is clearly bogus. As we noted earlier in the week, new research from the Congressional Research Service shows that the movie industry actually employs 374,000, making the claim (pulled from the highly questionable Institute for Policy Innovation) that the industry is losing 373,000 jobs each year... kinda questionable.

But I wanted to get a better understanding of what was actually happening to jobs in and around the motion picture industry. Seeing as CEOs of the major studios continue to bring in record salaries, it certainly sounds like the industry isn't doing that bad. Thankfully, research firm IBISWorld digs pretty deep into different industries to separate out what's happening. After digging through the numbers, it looks like the MPAA is (yet again) being intellectually dishonest.

If you look at the jobs in actual movie production -- the kind that they always imply are most at risk -- it turns out those jobs are growing rapidly. In 2002, there were about 43,000 people employed in the actual production of movies and videos. In 2010? That number had jumped to 77,000. Not bad. So where are the few job losses coming from? Well, there are about 1,500 fewer jobs in "movie and video distribution," but that makes sense, since technology is making that area less important. Really, the only place in the industry that has seen a significant loss in jobs (and even then it's not that big) is in the movie theater business. Employment in movie theaters dropped from about 134,000 in 2002 to about 119,000 in 2010. That accounts almost entirely for the drop in total employment in the movie business from 392,000 down to 374,000 that the CRS report noted.

In other words, the only "significant" job losses that we can spot are coming from the theaters themselves -- and it's difficult to see how that's got much, if anything, to do with piracy. As was noted in the CRS report, box office revenue has continued to hit records every year. So, really, it looks like theaters may just be cutting staff to cut costs, but that revenue at the box office keeps getting higher. So, more money with fewer staff. That's not exactly a story that shows an industry decimated by piracy.
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Filed Under: chris dodd, jobs, movie making, movie theaters, movies, pipa, protect ip, sopa
Companies: mpaa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Dec 2011 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    ILM Singapore works alongside Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in the US to produce world-class visual effects. ILM has received 15 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and 23 Scientific and Technical Achievement Awards. Since 2006, ILM Singapore has worked on the production of visual effects shots and sequences for a variety of feature films, including Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, the Transformers franchise and Iron Man.

    Lucasfilm Animation Singapore produces animated content for television and film. Current projects include the hit television series STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS as well as a to-be-announced upcoming animated feature.

    LucasArts Singapore is an extension of LucasArts in the US -- a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide for video game console systems, computers and the Internet. The Singapore team focuses on handheld, mobile, and console games. Several recent projects include Star Wars™ The Clone Wars™: Jedi Alliance™ for the Nintendo DS platform, Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge for iPhone, iPhone Touch, Xbox LIVE and Playstation 3 as well as work on The Force Unleashed II.


    Basically all work is done in Asia.
    I wonder why.

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