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WGA and SAG Strikes Cost 45,000 Job Losses in Entertainment Industry – The Hollywood Reporter

The Writers Guild of America strike is over, and there appears to be progress in negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP, but the impact of the strikes on the entertainment business writ large is still being felt.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its September jobs report on Friday and, while it was a strong report for the country (the U.S. added 336,000 jobs overall, with the unemployment rate remaining steady), it also showed the continued impact of the strikes.

According to the BLS report, the film and TV sector lost another 7,000 jobs in Sept., after reporting 17,000 job losses in August. Employment in the sector “has declined by 45,000 since May, reflecting the impact of labor disputes.”

The WGA went on strike May 2, with SAG-AFTRA joining them July 14.

In other words, with a good chunk of the entertainment industry grinding to a halt amid the writer and actors strikes, the industry shed nearly a whole Dodger Stadium’s worth of jobs. By contrast, the publishing sector added more than 6,000 jobs last month, while the telecommunications sector was effectively flat.

The good news is that with the WGA strike over, productions are slowly returning to work (the broadcast late night shows returned to the air earlier this month), and once the SAG-AFTRA strike ends, there is an expectation that productions will resume quickly. The biggest question is if the tumult in the industry over the summer leads to any permanent job losses, or if it will be limited as production resumes.

That will have to wait for a future BLS report.

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