Employment in the entertainment industry is recovering from years of decline in California, reaching a 10-year high of nearly 170,000 jobs in 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the Milken Institute.
The growth is tied to the passage of the 2014 California Filmed Production Incentive, enacted after the Milken Institute documented the flight of industry in a previous report.
California’s share of overall U.S. film production has dropped by a third, declining from nearly 40 percent in 2007 to just over 26 percent in 2017. Georgia has moved aggressively to attract a share of the pie, soaring from 2 percent of overall U.S. film production to more than 15 percent in 2017.
“California has seen a consistent rise in local employment in the filmed entertainment sector, even though the state’s incentives are not as aggressive as rivals like Canada, New York, or Georgia,” the report states. “That being said, there are … several key challenges that should be addressed in any extension or revision of the filmed production credit.”
Specific recommendations in the report include:
— Increasing the level of the current financial incentive — ideally matching or exceeding New York’s $420 million per year;
— Devoting a significant portion of the new money to larger budget movies;
— Adjust the amount of spending a movie production needs to have in California to qualify, particularly for movies with budgets over $100 million.
— Develop a structure for gradually reducing the amount of credit available to ongoing television productions to ensure funds are available for new television productions;
— Develop a strategy for boosting women and minority employment that factors in a strategy for participation as part of the bid process.
Overall, the number of jobs in film and TV production in the United States increased from 354,677 in 2006 to 410,026 in 2016. In California, the number increased from 143,427 in 2006 to 169,512 in 2016, after reaching a low of 136,470 in 2012.
The Milken Institute is a nonprofit think tank determined to increase global prosperity by advancing collaborative solutions that widen access to capital, create jobs, and improve health. For more, see www.milkeninstitute.org.