labor.gifAny serious discussion of the 2005 box office slump has been clouded by the fact that the numbers available to us really don't mean anything – how is the average pleb suppossed to understand how much profit is not enough? But a study released today by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation shows that there may be hard, labor-based facts to back some of the "sky-is-falling" hysterics. "Most people tend to look at the industry in terms of TV coverage, and to them it is still all happiness and lots of fun and laughs," said Jack Kyser, chief economist and vice president at the nonprofit LACEDC. "But the industry is going through some major changes that nobody is talking about."

The entertainment industry is, historically, the second biggest employer in Los Angeles County, behind aerospace. But this year, industry job growth is down by about 6%, as more productions chase tax incentives in central states and in Canada.  As of  November 22, the study reports, there were just 22 productions underway in LA County; 33 films are currently in production in other states, and 26 have left the country.  The numbers
have impressed local government – the mayor's spokeslady said the study "underscores the importance of supporting the film industry and retaining it here in Los Angeles."