Comprehensive analysis reveals industry reached all-time high numbers prior to the pandemic, supporting in total more than 185,000 jobs, $18 billion in wages
Production Industry has been a Bright Spot in the City's Recovery
NEW YORK, NY – The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) today released the NYC Film and Television Industry Economic Impact Study 2021, detailing specifics on the film and television industry's significance and contribution to New York City's economy. In 2019, the industry supported in total approximately 185,000 jobs, $18.1 billion in wages, and $81.6 billion in total economic output. Over the past fifteen years, direct jobs in the NYC television and film industry have grown at an annual rate of 3%, outpacing the city's overall rate of 2%.
The groundbreaking report arrives as New York City begins to recover from the pandemic, which highlighted just how important this industry is to the city's identity, the livelihood of many New Yorkers, and the local economy. The industry was at an all-time high when COVID hit, with 80 series shooting in NYC as of the 2018-2019 season – which represented a 34% increase in episodic production since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014.
Despite COVID-19's impact, where TV and film productions were shut down from March through June of 2020, the industry has been coming back strong. Overall production has reached pre-pandemic levels, with at least 34 projects filming on the ground throughout the five boroughs by the end of August 2021.
"This study acknowledges the unprecedented impact and leading role that the film and television industry has had on New York City's economy over the past several years," said NYC Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner, Anne del Castillo. "As we build a future for this industry, we look forward to working alongside public policymakers, industry stakeholders and local communities in order to ensure continued, sustainable economic growth and job opportunities for New Yorkers."
The industry is comprised seven sectors that are directly responsible for 100,200 jobs (2% of all jobs in the city), $12.2 billion in wages, and $64.1 billion in direct economic output. The seven key sectors are motion picture and video production; talent; subscription programming; television broadcasting; advertising and media buying; postproduction and other services; and distribution and consumption.
The study entails a multi-layered research process, broad stakeholder conversations and incorporates analysis of growth rates and trends between 2001 and 2019, as well as after the COVID-19 pandemic (specifically the first half of 2020). For an overview of the report, please see Executive Summary at http://on.nyc.gov/MOMEfilmTVReport.
Highlights from the NYC Film and Television Economic Impact Study include:
The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment regularly conducts studies to build its understanding of New York City's dynamic creative industries. As part of that effort, MOME launched this study in 2019 to provide a detailed assessment of the size, characteristics, and trends of the New York City film and television industry. This study was nearing its completion when the COVID-19 pandemic spurred global lockdowns in the early months of 2020. It was temporarily put on hold and upon its resumption, the study's scope was updated to include an analysis of industry activity during the first half of 2020, drawing on the most up-to-date economic data available as well as insights from key industry stakeholders and experts.
"The message from this report is loud and clear: New York City is THE place to source talent and produce film and television," said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "With $81.6 billion in total economic output, the film and television industry is helping drive the city’s comeback by providing a source of sustained economic growth and reliable employment for New Yorkers."
"From iconic box office hits to inspiring independent films and television series, productions in New York City have affirmed, time and again, our city's standing as the ultimate place to be," said the City of New York’s Senior Advisor for Recovery Lorraine Grillo. "As we celebrate NYC Homecoming Week with the entertainment industry, this new study indicates the pivotal role that the sector will continue to play in ensuring a recovery for all of us."
"New York City is internationally known for the film and television industry and the insight in this report displays the significant economic impact the industry has brought to our city, and will also help us identify the industry's opportunities for job creation and economic growth specific to The Bronx as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. I thank the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment for facilitating this analysis as we push to get unemployment back to the record low level we saw in The Bronx prior to the pandemic," said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
"The data revealed by the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment in this study outlines a vital sector of New York City's economy," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "This will provide an essential benchmark for those of us in government who know how important it is to bring back jobs and investment in the post-COVID city."
"From our growing studio and soundstage footprint to our countless iconic filming locations, the future of the television and film industry is right here in Queens, as proven by the encouraging rate of job growth in the trade," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. "As the industry continues to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, Queens looks forward to being at the forefront of its recovery and investing in its overall health. The local economic benefits of a thriving television and film trade are too great not to do so."
"Prior to Covid, Staten Island has seen great success in the television and film industry with our office's Made On Staten Island initiative created back in 2014," said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. "Because of our efforts, the number of productions on Staten Island more than doubled, and millions in revenue were generated for campuses such as Snug Harbor, Historic Richmond Town, Bayley Seton and Mount Loretto. We also cannot forget the economic impact this revenue had on the borough's small businesses, including restaurants, security services, catering, theaters, and more. We look forward to getting back to that level of production and continue to promote Staten Island as a one stop shop for the industry."
Councilman Robert Holden said, "It's good to see film and television production booming in the Big Apple. That means good jobs, the use of our many production facilities and the start of new careers. New York should always be a mecca for film and TV because we have unique talent, sound stages and locations. Not even Hollywood can fake New York City."
"The NYC Film and Television Industry Economic Impact Study released by MOME validates the strength of the New York Film Tax Credit Program and its ability to continue to build employment and investment," said Vans Stevenson, Senior Vice President, State Government Affairs - Motion Picture Association.
"The Impact Study confirms what SAG-AFTRA and the entertainment unions have known for many years; our industries are a vital part of the NYC economy," said Rebecca Damon, SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President and New York President. "The film, television and broadcast industries create and sustain strong union jobs and will lead the way as the City comes roaring back from the pandemic. It's an exciting time to live and work in New York and SAG-AFTRA members are eager to play a large part in our city's recovery. We look forward to working with the MOME, our fellow unions, and our industry partners to keep NYC at the forefront of the digital entertainment and media revolution."
"MOME's report on the NYC Film and Television sector's growth in economic impact and jobs directly correlates to Theatrical Teamsters Local 817's experience these past 15 years," said Thomas J. O'Donnell, President, Theatrical Teamsters Local 817. "Correctly, the report credits much of the success to the New York State Film tax credit program allowing producers to take advantage of the City's iconic locations, extensive infrastructure, and world class talent & crews. While membership suffered OVER a 95% job loss by the 2nd quarter of 2020, we are now approaching pre-pandemic employment levels. Like the city we live and work in, our crews have remained tough, resilient, and optimistic in the future."
"This study brings into focus what we have been hearing from our community," Flo Mitchell-Brown, Chair of the New York Production Alliance, said. "After breaking most records in terms of investment and job creation in 2019, we were hit particularly hard by COVID. The Mayor's Office has been invaluable in helping our industry get back on our feet, sharing what we've learned to help others, and laying a solid foundation for future growth. We'll be back stronger than ever."
"The Post New York Alliance read the recently released MOME film study with great excitement," said Yana Collins Lehman, Chair, Post New York Alliance. "NYC's post production industry has never been busier. We've enjoyed the addition of dozens of Made In New York Post PA program graduates into jobs in Post, and they've invigorated the ecosystem. We look forward to accelerated job growth as the Post Industry continues to thrive in NYC."
"This report makes clear what we've long known – that the film and television production industry is a significant economic driver providing high quality, well-paying jobs and generating significant revenue for the local businesses that support it," said Kris Bagwell, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Silvercup Studios. "In fact, the industry was one of the first to come back in full force during the pandemic providing much needed jobs and an economic boost when the City needed it most. At the same time, New York-produced films and television shows adhered to the most comprehensive and stringent COVID-19 safety protocols, keeping workers safe. We're pleased to support the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment in studies such as this which help demonstrate the value the industry brings to New York and to help it continue its strong growth trajectory."
"IFC Center has always understood our mission to be serving both moviegoers and moviemakers," said John Vanco, Senior Vice President and General Manager of IFC Center, a 5-screen independent cinema in downtown NYC. "We're proud that we're where filmmakers get to present the fruits of their labor to the public, and that we're able to play so many great New York films for our audiences, both at the theater and in our DOC NYC festival. We're thrilled the city's production sector is coming back strong following the pandemic slowdown, since filmmaking and filmgoing are vital to the life of New York City."
"The film and television industry serves as a shining light on how the economy of New York is being diversified. Our industry was at the forefront in returning to work, which enabled Kaufman Astoria Studios to continue to be an economic driver for our neighborhood," said Kaufman Astoria Studios President and CEO Hal G. Rosenbluth. "This report demonstrates the importance of the industry to the City and State. I thank the Mayor and the Commissioner for their help in not only this report, but also their continued collaboration that allowed Kaufman and other studios to quickly get back up and running during the pandemic."
To read the entire report, please visit http://on.nyc.gov/MOMEfilmTVReport.