California Must Act to Reclaim Production Jobs and Economic Opportunity
The motion picture industry has long called California its home and has grown into one of America’s greatest and most lucrative exports, a cultural touchstone known around the world, an economic engine for jobs and business and a tourist magnet. Combined, the industry supports more than 190,000 direct jobs and $17 billion in wages in California. But we are now greatly concerned that the state’s status as the epicenter for motion picture production is at risk. What started as isolated runaway film and television production to a few countries some 15 years ago has become an ever-growing exodus of high quality middle-class jobs. And with those jobs, California is sending precious tax dollars, economic opportunity and its iconic brand to other states and nations.
Some Facts About Runaway Production
- Of the 54 big-budget feature films of 2012 and 2013, only one shot exclusively in California.
- From 2005 to 2013, California’s share of the 1-hour TV series market declined from 64% to 28%, resulting in the loss of an estimated 8,500 jobs.
- According to a 2007 study commissioned by the San Francisco Film Commission, every job lost in the film industry results in a loss of $112,000 in spending to the local economy.
- In the last 15 years, feature film production in Los Angeles has dropped nearly 60 percent.
Film and television production is a major source of jobs and economic vitality in California, but with increased competition, California is losing thousands of middle-class jobs and significant tax revenue to other states and nations. If policymakers fail to make our state more competitive, the film industry in California will face the same fate as other industries, including aerospace, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of jobs permanently leaving California for other states.