Study: Average Georgia Film Jobs Pay Lower Than Other States

Project Casting

Average film workers in Georgia are paid the lowest wages according to a new study.

The film industry is a billion dollar business. In fact, Furious 7 made over a billion dollars in the box office after it filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. That is incredible; A single movie made more than most American companies make in a lifetime. So how does film industry pay their workers?

Georgia’s film industry creates thousands film jobs. In fact, studies have shown that Atlanta is the #1 city for aspiring filmmakers, actors and people interested in joining the film industry. But, according to a 2016 study, the average film job in Georgia pays only $42,000.00 a year.In comparison, the average film wage for a crew member in New York is $110,125 and New York is ranked third in the nation.

From Georgia State University:

Combined, these 10 states accounted for 87 percent of national employment in this industry. Georgia was ranked fifth with 4,209 film jobs, just under 2 percent of the industry total. Florida and Louisiana 16 Rankings are based on annual average employment in the film industry in each state.
were ranked slightly higher than Georgia, and California
and New York were the highest ranked with 111,446
and 45,542 film jobs, accounting for approximately
52 and 21 percent of industry employment,

Interestingly, despite its relatively high
ranking in employment, on average film workers in
Georgia are paid the lowest wages compared to the
other top 10 states listed.

However, it’s important to point out that despite relatively high ranking in employment, on average film workers in Georgia are paid the lowest wages, in comparison to the other top 10 states.

Georgia Film Jobs
Source: Georgia State University

Here’s the ranking of highest paid film workers by state:

  1. Connecticut
  2. New York
  3. California
  4. Florida
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. New Jersey
  7. Texas
  8. Oregon
  9. Louisiana
  10. Georgia

It’s important to point that in a 2016 study, in order to live “comfortably” in Atlanta, you would have to earn $60,285/per year.

  • Atlanta: $60,285
  • Income needed: $60,285
  • 50 percent for necessities: $30,143
  • 30 percent for discretionary spending: $18,086
  • 20 percent for savings: $12,057

With a median household income of $46,439 in Atlanta, workers in this city have $13,846 less than they need each year to live well. [Go Banking Rates]

Georgia’s film industry continues to grow. Georgia increased their 2014 film industry employment by 62 percent, relative to 2009. In addition, Louisiana’s film industry employment increased by 229 percent. Meanwhile, direct film industry jobs in Pennsylvania and New Jersey decreased significantly.

But, it’s hard to deny the impact of Georgia’s film tax credit system on employment. Despite paying workers less than other states, during the recession Georgia’s film industry grew by 39% and providing nearly 3,000 jobs. Since the recession, employment in Georgia’s film industry has further increased by 62%. But, researchers argue that the “relative costs and benefits of Georgia’s film tax credit are uncertain.

Related: Gov. Nathan Deal Saves Georgia’s Film Industry

And Georgia’s film industry has no plans of stopping anytime soon. According to reports, the Atlanta City Council signed off on a deal that would allow for Tyler Perry to turn much of Fort McPherson into a movie studio. Tyler Perry wants to use the base to expand the number of studio facilities he currently owns and operates. Currently, Tyler Perry owns over 1000 acre property which features five sound stages, a post-production facility and a 400-seat theater in Southwest Atlanta.

In addition, a new mega-movie studio has opened in Gwinnett County Georgia that is being called “beautiful” and a “state of the art facility”.

What is even better is that without weather delays, there will be more opportunity for more production. More production means more jobs and a bigger boost to the surrounding community. “Yes, we’re adding jobs,” said Economos. “Yes we’re adding a lot of support business. We’ve met with over 10 different vendors that will be working with Eagle Rock Studios Atlanta. So just the trickle-down effect will be fantastic for this area.” [via]

The biggest benefit to this new movie studio is the fact that it will add new jobs.

Related: 39 TV Shows and Movies Filming in Georgia in April

Via: Creative Loafing / Georgia State University

What do you think? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.