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Hollywood Strikes Lead to Significant Job Losses in LA Entertainment Sector

New York NY USA-July 14, 2023 Members of SAG-AFTRA and other union supporters picket outside the HBOAmazon offices in the Hudson Yards neighborhood in New York (rblfmr/shutterstock.com)

New York NY USA-July 14, 2023 Members of SAG-AFTRA and other union supporters picket outside the HBOAmazon offices in the Hudson Yards neighborhood in New York (rblfmr/shutterstock.com)

A recent study has revealed the substantial impact of the Hollywood strikes on the Los Angeles entertainment workforce. The strikes, which have been a major point of discussion in the industry, have led to a significant number of job losses, affecting a wide range of professionals in the field.

Key Takeaways:

  • 17% of Los Angeles-based entertainment workers lost their jobs during the strikes.
  • The study was conducted by the Otis College of Art and Design.
  • The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike ran from May 2 to September 27.
  • The SAG-AFTRA strike occurred from July 14 to November 9.
  • A total of 24,799 entertainment industry employees in Los Angeles were let go.
  • The most affected roles included actors, writers, camera operators, editors, and other media occupations.

The Impact of Strikes on Employment

The study, the first released under the Otis College Report on the Creative Economy, analyzed the effects of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. It found that during the period from April to October, which was the focus of the study, there was a rapid decline in employment for actors and writers, as well as for other roles such as camera operators, editors, and various media occupations.

Long-Term Decline in Hollywood Employment

The report suggests that the 2023 strikes should be seen as part of a longer-term decline in Hollywood employment. This includes the decline of what is known as Peak TV. Since the post-pandemic high point in August 2022, the film and TV industry's employment has shrunk by 26%. The strikes have been identified as a factor that accelerated an industry contraction that was already underway.

Additional Challenges Exacerbated by Strikes

The study highlights several challenges facing Hollywood that were worsened by the strikes. These include an oversupply of content, a weaker investment environment, technological disruption, and foreign competition. The analysis for the study was conducted by Westwood Economics and Planning Associates, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and California Employment Development Department (EDD), as well as reviewing job listings and interviewing industry officials.

The Otis College Report on the Creative Economy

The Otis College of Art and Design has developed the Otis College Report on the Creative Economy as a resource to understand the health of the entertainment industry. This report is crucial for both the state of California and students at Otis College, who are planning careers across creative sectors. The full study, which is the first of two focusing on the entertainment industry, is available for review, with the second report expected to be released in early 2024.

Conclusion

The findings of the study underscore the significant impact of the Hollywood strikes on the local entertainment workforce. The job losses experienced by a considerable portion of the workforce highlight the need for stability and sustainable practices in the industry. As the entertainment sector continues to navigate these challenges, the insights from studies like this are invaluable for understanding the broader economic and employment trends in Hollywood.