L.A. entertainment industry on the mend, Otis report says

A new report on Los Angeles' creative economy shows the entertainment industry emerging from its recession-induced slump, with modest job gains in 2011 hinting at the early stages of a recovery.

The entertainment industry employed about 120,400 people in Los Angeles County last year -- off about 7% from the peak in 2006, but an improvement over 2010, according to the Otis Report on the Creative Economy of the Los Angeles Region released Tuesday.

Motion picture and video production accounted for the greatest number of job losses in the entertainment sector from 2006 to 2011. Hollywood shed 6,700 positions during the five-year period, a 6% drop, as movie studios pared the number of films put into production and television studios began shipping work out of Los Angeles.

Post-production was the only part of the entertainment sector to show modest employment gains, according to the report.

Otis projects that employment across all creative industries -- not just those working in traditional Hollywood jobs, but in fashion, furniture and home furnishings and the visual and performing arts -- will rise to 316,600 by 2016. That would represent a gain of 4.2% from 2011, when some 304,000 people worked in such creative fields, according to the report.    

The digital media sector was forecast to grow the fastest -- a point underscored by the decision to present the Otis report's findings at Google’s new digital production facility, called YouTube Space LA, in Playa Vista. 

Fueled by demand for video games and the proliferation of screens on smartphones and tablets, digital media employment is expected to grow 11.3% from this year to 2015, the report said. Job growth in Los Angeles' traditional entertainment industry is forecast to increase 6.7% over that same period.

This is the sixth year that Otis College of Art and Design, working with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., has published an annual research project mapping the creative economy of the Los Angeles region.


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