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A look at employment and wages in the film industry

February 27, 2017

The Academy Awards, or "Oscars," awards ceremony was held yesterday to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements in the U.S. film industry. Today we look at employment and wages in the movie production and movie theatres industries. In June 2016, the latest date for which data are available, there were 249,607 people employed in the motion picture and video production industry, up from 192,769 in June 2006.

Employment in motion picture production, distribution, and exhibition, June 2006–June 2016
    Month     Motion picture and video production Motion picture and video distribution Motion picture theaters, except drive-ins Drive-in motion picture theaters Teleproduction and postproduction services Other motion picture and video industries

Jun 2006

192,769 8,524 142,543 4,305 15,871 4,018

Jul 2006

183,813 8,419 141,016 4,407 15,780 3,481

Aug 2006

189,510 8,474 135,533 4,223 15,872 3,534

Sep 2006

191,907 8,334 122,611 3,605 15,963 3,629

Oct 2006

184,423 8,291 119,992 2,835 15,929 3,527

Nov 2006

191,480 8,353 125,210 2,429 16,073 3,675

Dec 2006

200,034 8,323 129,970 2,432 16,225 3,740

Jan 2007

181,355 7,286 126,668 1,691 15,164 3,398

Feb 2007

191,943 7,425 123,395 1,728 15,398 3,838

Mar 2007

197,679 7,397 125,783 1,880 15,375 4,419

Apr 2007

185,655 7,446 129,675 2,691 15,517 4,661

May 2007

194,097 7,468 143,212 3,711 15,592 3,864

Jun 2007

201,276 7,432 147,303 3,974 15,626 3,925

Jul 2007

189,545 7,432 145,081 4,009 15,502 4,451

Aug 2007

201,179 7,561 140,032 3,829 15,486 4,596

Sep 2007

202,331 7,570 125,614 3,183 15,500 5,007

Oct 2007

185,902 7,626 120,242 2,359 15,732 4,563

Nov 2007

193,815 7,724 124,636 2,019 15,743 4,415

Dec 2007

203,366 7,763 129,801 1,986 15,823 4,770

Jan 2008

176,787 7,557 126,436 1,646 16,014 3,805

Feb 2008

191,833 7,794 123,457 1,568 16,324 5,041

Mar 2008

205,315 7,690 124,706 1,686 16,110 5,483

Apr 2008

205,180 7,706 125,783 2,410 16,088 5,814

May 2008

214,372 7,766 132,720 3,292 16,065 5,958

Jun 2008

218,519 7,819 138,771 3,579 16,097 5,114

Jul 2008

195,235 7,813 140,278 3,666 16,200 4,935

Aug 2008

202,271 7,779 136,512 3,503 16,191 5,374

Sep 2008

212,279 7,689 120,131 2,881 16,211 5,656

Oct 2008

200,154 7,641 117,877 2,167 16,200 4,155

Nov 2008

200,110 7,697 123,329 1,821 16,072 4,584

Dec 2008

205,755 7,565 127,836 1,800 16,332 4,820

Jan 2009

171,218 7,644 128,190 1,527 15,621 3,024

Feb 2009

178,004 7,836 125,775 1,531 15,490 3,243

Mar 2009

185,334 7,799 128,670 1,657 15,380 3,456

Apr 2009

178,569 7,673 128,181 2,404 15,203 3,153

May 2009

180,513 7,881 135,401 3,120 15,218 3,563

Jun 2009

188,916 7,595 139,245 3,490 14,915 3,709

Jul 2009

179,681 7,563 140,245 3,638 14,773 3,121

Aug 2009

186,297 7,643 135,328 3,510 14,996 3,132

Sep 2009

194,154 7,494 121,737 2,977 15,016 3,420

Oct 2009

184,078 7,558 119,629 2,151 15,162 3,404

Nov 2009

192,586 8,142 123,332 1,845 15,161 3,697

Dec 2009

199,698 7,529 129,448 1,842 15,446 3,561

Jan 2010

181,308 7,120 129,606 1,454 14,925 2,677

Feb 2010

189,435 7,326 123,987 1,460 14,896 3,008

Mar 2010

195,848 7,107 125,215 1,566 15,049 3,203

Apr 2010

187,747 7,019 126,518 2,342 15,338 3,226

May 2010

191,877 7,190 132,698 3,073 15,484 3,475

Jun 2010

198,481 7,015 136,412 3,427 15,724 3,871

Jul 2010

192,541 6,895 135,064 3,515 15,648 2,929

Aug 2010

203,600 6,984 131,255 3,343 15,849 3,074

Sep 2010

214,437 6,935 118,614 2,757 15,819 3,619

Oct 2010

198,996 6,930 114,652 2,030 16,281 2,757

Nov 2010

203,228 7,110 120,112 1,750 16,342 2,835

Dec 2010

214,026 6,975 123,362 1,635 16,520 3,092

Jan 2011

191,683 6,836 122,808 1,462 16,155 2,534

Feb 2011

196,554 6,860 115,918 1,462 16,361 2,717

Mar 2011

202,903 6,775 116,208 1,552 16,351 3,581

Apr 2011

197,910 6,665 117,711 2,281 15,958 2,618

May 2011

199,140 6,690 124,896 2,976 15,860 2,647

Jun 2011

195,748 6,555 130,960 3,313 15,858 2,612

Jul 2011

195,419 6,681 132,844 3,497 15,618 2,612

Aug 2011

201,171 6,660 127,083 3,330 15,801 2,797

Sep 2011

198,904 6,506 115,674 2,775 15,679 2,786

Oct 2011

204,026 6,354 112,075 1,962 15,798 2,596

Nov 2011

205,215 6,397 118,129 1,678 15,642 2,697

Dec 2011

203,884 6,389 120,558 1,616 15,647 2,658

Jan 2012

189,757 6,177 120,012 1,429 15,581 2,486

Feb 2012

196,952 6,181 114,645 1,470 15,584 2,737

Mar 2012

199,492 6,110 117,986 1,642 15,598 2,795

Apr 2012

204,421 6,215 119,236 2,437 15,472 2,753

May 2012

208,233 6,212 126,179 3,110 15,552 3,097

Jun 2012

200,920 6,152 131,044 3,452 15,529 2,575

Jul 2012

202,891 6,255 132,789 3,489 15,424 2,764

Aug 2012

209,085 6,317 127,462 3,314 15,463 3,307

Sep 2012

202,322 6,201 116,763 2,639 15,715 3,018

Oct 2012

209,583 6,155 118,415 1,985 16,543 2,869

Nov 2012

219,520 6,257 124,971 1,747 16,449 3,063

Dec 2012

216,172 6,205 128,030 1,665 16,537 2,979

Jan 2013

196,687 6,021 124,622 1,151 15,818 2,494

Feb 2013

205,265 6,155 120,588 1,131 15,848 2,599

Mar 2013

205,601 6,043 121,902 1,249 15,713 2,465

Apr 2013

207,712 6,155 125,732 1,906 15,641 2,641

May 2013

209,218 6,151 133,605 2,580 15,522 2,791

Jun 2013

210,033 6,066 139,128 2,933 15,384 2,478

Jul 2013

205,289 6,139 137,641 3,066 14,894 2,345

Aug 2013

209,453 6,153 133,426 2,943 15,183 2,422

Sep 2013

212,173 6,075 119,370 2,443 15,041 2,400

Oct 2013

220,482 6,317 118,309 1,811 15,226 2,481

Nov 2013

227,686 6,376 124,689 1,475 15,469 2,723

Dec 2013

218,898 6,317 130,176 1,365 15,533 2,691

Jan 2014

207,383 7,062 128,280 1,085 15,487 2,575

Feb 2014

210,635 7,128 124,530 1,114 14,768 2,758

Mar 2014

214,258 7,272 125,045 1,207 14,802 2,535

Apr 2014

215,208 7,460 127,364 1,904 14,937 2,474

May 2014

211,971 7,388 131,882 2,594 14,857 2,603

Jun 2014

211,448 7,428 137,211 2,861 14,814 2,484

Jul 2014

207,741 7,438 136,560 2,940 14,522 3,091

Aug 2014

214,649 7,554 131,838 2,802 14,640 2,903

Sep 2014

212,089 7,500 117,597 2,270 14,556 2,557

Oct 2014

220,243 7,477 117,130 1,817 14,729 2,758

Nov 2014

221,330 7,568 122,593 1,428 14,964 3,509

Dec 2014

217,932 7,505 130,010 1,329 14,931 3,083

Jan 2015

204,659 7,188 127,743 1,138 15,055 2,846

Feb 2015

219,004 7,325 126,514 1,132 15,257 3,391

Mar 2015

219,044 7,347 128,087 1,219 15,073 2,967

Apr 2015

222,562 7,347 131,295 2,008 15,143 2,867

May 2015

226,895 7,402 137,379 2,543 15,159 3,120

Jun 2015

227,137 7,387 140,609 2,809 15,096 3,290

Jul 2015

224,208 7,325 144,891 2,943 14,897 3,246

Aug 2015

228,244 7,334 139,464 2,836 15,111 2,860

Sep 2015

227,770 7,148 124,796 2,286 15,101 2,864

Oct 2015

240,824 7,219 125,445 1,813 15,194 3,184

Nov 2015

248,875 7,430 131,415 1,399 15,572 3,023

Dec 2015

241,368 7,192 144,581 1,331 15,266 2,958

Jan 2016

232,821 7,062 139,679 1,124 14,917 2,768

Feb 2016

251,392 7,227 134,549 1,120 15,216 2,926

Mar 2016

242,723 7,221 135,265 1,390 15,183 3,006

Apr 2016

260,631 7,473 137,701 2,092 14,586 2,896

May 2016

261,004 7,575 144,420 2,544 14,759 3,245

Jun 2016

249,607 7,518 149,811 2,923 14,763 2,782

In June 2016, there were 149,811 people employed in motion picture theaters, except drive-ins, up from 142,543 in June 2006. Over that 10-year period, the low point of employment in the industry occurred in October 2011, when it was 112,075

Employees in Motion picture and video distribution made an average annual wage of $130,171 in 2015, up from $74,850 in 2005. Employees in Motion picture and video production made an average annual wage of $94,355 in 2015, up from $76,764 in 2005.

Average annual pay in motion picture production, distribution, and exhibition, 2005–2015
   Year    Motion picture and video production Motion picture and video distribution Motion picture theaters, except drive-ins Drive-in motion picture theaters Teleproduction and postproduction services Other motion picture and video industries

2005

$76,764 $74,850 $10,461 $23,418 $74,507 $64,518

2006

78,567 75,736 10,864 17,392 77,967 78,004

2007

80,008 91,178 11,380 19,364 79,351 74,423

2008

80,184 97,751 11,606 22,196 91,081 61,640

2009

84,007 97,843 11,816 16,749 90,873 67,231

2010

85,050 106,816 12,084 17,199 96,072 67,756

2011

86,804 105,409 12,353 18,895 99,883 79,099

2012

89,340 118,689 12,584 16,728 106,187 79,013

2013

86,998 122,424 12,596 16,716 101,985 69,066

2014

95,276 129,997 13,161 10,814 89,807 59,638

2015

94,355 130,171 13,345 11,429 95,385 55,004

These data are from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and are not seasonally adjusted. For industry employment and wage data at the national, state, county, and metropolitan area levels, see the data viewer tool or the QCEW Open Data Access.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, A look at employment and wages in the film industry on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/a-look-at-employment-and-wages-in-the-film-industry.htm (visited November 22, 2019).

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