Despite a drop in L.A. County's unemployment rate, it was a month of June gloom for Hollywood jobs.
Employment in L.A. County's motion picture and sound recording category -- which covers the bulk of employment in the local film, TV and music industries -- fell to 107,600 wage and salary jobs in June, down 6.6% from June 2012 and 5.5% from May, according to state employment data.
The figures, compiled by the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., are subject to revision and do not count those who work as freelancers or independent contractors.
While industry employment typically declines in the summer months as the industry winds down production, the figures mark the second consecutive month of declines from a year ago in the film and TV jobs category.
The slowdown occurred against a backdrop of overall job growth in most sectors of the L.A. economy in June, when the unemployment rate dropped to 10.2%, from 11.1% a year earlier. The county saw a net increase of 39,800 non-farm jobs led by gains in leisure and hospitality, construction, and healthcare, according to figures from the state's Employment Development Department.
Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., said the reasons for the over-the-year job decline in the entertainment sector were not clear. But he noted that the June decline was at odds with the national picture: Industry employment for the U.S. stood at 390,300 in June, up from 381,600 in June 2012.
Studios including Walt Disney and DreamWorks Animation, as well post-production houses such as Rhythm & Hues, have laid off hundreds of workers this year in an effort to cut costs. Southern California also has been squeezed by the flight of film and TV jobs to other states and countries.
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