Advanced Television

MPAA: US film & TV industry drives economic growth

March 20, 2019

The American film and television industry supports 2.6 million jobs, pays out $177 billion in total wages, and comprises over 93,000 businesses—according to an analysis of the most recent economic figures released today by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

“The impact of the US film and television industry reaches far beyond well-known creative hubs, such as Los Angeles, New York City and Atlanta,” said Charles Rivkin, Chairman and CEO of the MPAA. “This industry supports jobs and businesses in all 50 states and is also highly competitive globally – generating $17.2 billion in exports and a positive balance of trade in every major market in the world.”

The methodology used to calculate these figures was updated with the latest available data and analyses, which included pay television distribution jobs and wages for the first time. Of the 2.6 million total jobs supported by the industry, direct jobs related to the production and distribution of films and television shows totalled 927,000 (340,000 direct production jobs and 587,000 jobs direct distribution jobs). These are high quality jobs, with salaries that are 47 per cent higher than the national average for direct jobs in total, and 65 percent higher for direct production jobs.

Of the 93,000 businesses that make up the film and television industry across the country, 87 per cent are small businesses, employing fewer than 10 people. In all, the industry makes $44 billion in payments to over 250,000 local businesses. The industry also increases the tax base, generating $29.4 billion in public revenues from sales, state, and federal taxes.

On the global stage, the US film and television industry generates $17.2 billion in exports and has a trade surplus of $10.3 billion, four percent of the total US trade surplus in services.

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