Most job growth in the entertainment industry is a result of replacement jobs — openings created due to regular turnover or retirement.
These middle-skill jobs are "a pathway for people to obtain a good paying job in a region with a high cost-of-living without having to go down a time-intensive and costly road of a four-year degree," said LAEDC economist Shannon Sedgwick.
LAEDC is working with local community colleges to ensure they have programs that can train workers for these jobs.
Developing the necessary talent pool locally helps to stymie the loss of entertainment jobs to other locales that Los Angeles has been struggling with in the last decade. Other cities in the U.S. and abroad — such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York, Toronto and Vancouver — have lured film and TV crews away from Los Angeles with generous tax incentives.
The national share of motion picture and sound recording jobs in L.A. declined from 35.2 percent to 34.3 percent from 2006 to 2016, according to the report. The national share of artists, writers, and performers in L.A. declined from 24.2 percent to 23.7 percent during that time.
L.A. still has the highest concentration of entertainment industry employment, with 220,860 payroll jobs. About 150,370 are employed in the motion picture and sound recording industries.
L.A.'s longtime biggest competitor, New York, employs about 39,700 in motion picture, video production and post-production services, according to the New York Empire State Development Corporation.
A vibrant local talent pool makes Los Angeles a more attractive place to base a production, Sedgwick said.
It's even more imperative to foster local talent now that a growing proportion of jobs are in digital media, which aren't as tied to a specific location the way traditional entertainment productions are, Sedgwick said. "If we don't have the proper labor supply we will be at a higher risk of losing the more mobile digital media industries."
The L.A. basin's entertainment industry is expected to add just a net total of 490 jobs in the next four years. That's because growth in the motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sports industries will be offset by job losses in broadcasting. Of the 26,970 total job openings projected over the next four years, 26,480 are replacement workers.