U.S. locations gain as California loses

Over the years it was bound to happen, as states like New Mexico, Louisiana and more recently Michigan enticed Hollywood producers to their states with ever more lucrative tax and wage incentives.

Since the exodus began in 1997, California has lost more than 10,600 entertainment jobs along with 25,500 jobs indirectly related to the industry.

The Milken Institute’s report, “Film Flight: Lost Production and its Economic Impact on California, found that the entertainment industry jobs lost paid an average salary of $92,000 a year.

According to the report, the number of movies shot in California shriveled from 272 in 2000 to 160 in 2008. The percentage of U.S. film jobs located in California shrunk from 40% in 1997 to 37.4% in 2008.

In all, the TV/movie production flight has cost California $2.4 billion in wages and $4.2 billion in total economic output since 1997 — the peak year in entertainment employment — as other states and countries became more attractive locales.

The 40-page report stated that 42 states, including California and the District of Columbia, are currently competing for a chunk of the $57 billion U.S. film production industry by offering tax and wage incentives.