The motion picture and TV production industry is responsible for more than 141,000 jobs in New York, according to an analysis of data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics which covers the year 2010. The MPAA highlighted the analysis in an announcement Wednesday. Figures cited include direct production-related jobs as well as indirect jobs in businesses working with the production industry. Core production jobs covered in the 2010 jobs report of the New York State Comptroller are up to 43,000, an increase of 20% from the 2008 figure cited in that report (36,000), and an increase of 22% over 2009. Production slowed in 2009 due to uncertainty about the state tax incentive program. With additional production-related jobs not captured in the core data, the number of direct jobs reaches 48,690, up 13% (nearly 5,600 jobs) over 2009. Annual job growth between 2009 and 2010 in New York State was flat (0%) and nationwide was down 1%.
The New York state production incentives have been a boon to the local industry, according to the MPAA’s interpretation of the BLS figures. The incentive is a 30% refundable tax credit applied against qualified expenditures. Increases in applications for the incentives also reflect a corresponding increase in the number of New York projects. In 2010, the New York Film Incentive program received 91 applications — 71 motion pictures, 6 television pilots and 14 television series. In 2011, the program had a 66% boost, with 137 applications to date, including 91 motion pictures, 20 television pilots and 26 television series, according to the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development Website. Movies shot in New York so far in 2011 include The Bourne Legacy, Broken City, Men in Black III, and New Year’s Eve. TV series include Blue Bloods, Boardwalk Empire, Damages, Person of Interest, Glee, Gossip Girl, and Pan Am. As an example of the impact filming has locally, the film Arthur, 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.
Unions, other labor associations and the MPAA praised the incentives. “States know that film and television production bring increased investment and good jobs, which is why New York put incentives in place and why you see the positive year-after-year growth in this sector,” said Vans Stevenson of the MPAA. “Competition among states and Canada is fierce for these jobs because they are the kinds of work people want – with benefits and an average salary of $79,000 a year.” Stevenson rejected suggestions that the tax incentives took money away from public schools. In 2009 movie and TV production companies spent $5.1 for every $1.00 invested by the state in the program, according to New York government statistics. “That is a very positive return on investment for state residents and the New York economy.”