Workplace Culture

Jobs Get Starring Role in NYC Film Industry

By Miriam Souccar

Dec. 2, 2011

The sluggish economy may still be affecting many sectors in New York, but the state’s film and television production industry is booming.

The number of core production jobs in 2010 jumped to 43,000, up 22 percent from the previous year, according to a new analysis of labor statistics by the Motion Picture Association of America. Annual job growth overall during that time period in New York was flat.

Film executives attribute the gains solely to the expansion last year of the state production incentive, a 30 percent refundable tax credit for production costs. This year, applications to film here are up 66 percent over last year, with 137 filed to date. The applications include 91 motion pictures, 20 television pilots, and a record 26 television series, according to the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development.

“The new job figures released by the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] confirm what all of us working in and around this industry know to be true,” said Mike Jackman, co-chair of the New York Production Alliance. “That film and television production continues to be a catalyst for New York’s economic recovery.”

The economic boost from each production goes far beyond the core production hires. The movie Arthur, for example, which shot in New York for 48 days in 2010, spent more than $26 million with local vendors, and made more than 4,300 local hires including 1,043 crew members.

“Screen Actors Guild members have seen an increase in work due to these credits, including a 30 percent increase in background actor workdays,” said Richard Masur, chair of the Screen Actors Guild national legislative committee, in a statement. “These extra days of employment keep actors working and help them to qualify for health insurance and pension benefits.”

Filed by Miriam Kreinin Souccar of Crain’s New York Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email


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