Job numbers for the city won’t be released until mid-September, and the local impact will become clearer. SAG-AFTRA has about 32,000 members in New York, according to the union’s website, while there are 6,800 members of the New York-based chapter of WGA. In July, employment in the local industry appeared to stay steady compared to the month previous, though it was down 14%, or 7,500 jobs, from a year earlier.
The industry supports positions on and around sets, including actors, directors, location scouts and the staff of dozens of sound stages, but it also has a large economic impact on the surrounding community, supporting hotels, restaurants and small businesses. A 2021 city study put the industry’s economic impact at $81.6 billion. The industry was also among the first to go back to in-person work, in the summer of 2020, after Covid closures, which helped jumpstart New York’s recovery.
The New York State budget boosted a film tax credit in this year’s budget to $700 million from $420 million a year earlier, in order to attract more productions to the state. The film credit hike also permitted productions to deduct 30% of their expenses, up from 25%, and include salaries for highly paid actors and directors in the amount they are credited, instead of just production-related expenses.