Hollywood sheds 17,000 jobs in August amid ongoing strikes

Mike Blake | Reuters
  • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed a monthly decrease of 17,000 jobs in the motion picture and sound recording industries, reflecting recent strikes by Hollywood writers and actors.
  • The report comes as other industries spur overall job growth across the country.
  • The monthly figure shows the effect the dual strikes, which began earlier in the summer, are having on employment as the writers and actors push for better compensation.

Hollywood's labor pool is taking a hit as the dual strikes by actors and writers drag on.

The film, TV and music sectors shed a combined 17,000 jobs in August, "reflecting strike activity," the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday morning.

In contrast, the U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs during the month, spurred by growth in the health care, leisure and construction industries. It topped the 170,000 jobs forecast, according to Dow Jones.

The job losses for the motion picture and sound recording industries underscore one effect of the Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA strikes, which began in May and mid-July, respectively. In the months since, several notable films and shows halted or wrapped production early.

Hollywood's massive work stoppage has also had a widespread effect on other sectors such as hospitality and real estate, costing California's overall economy an estimated $3 billion so far. Hollywood's striking writers and actors are negotiating with legacy studios for better pay as streaming and the threat of artificial intelligence affect their compensation.

Last month, writers' union WGA said it received a new proposal from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the body representing major studios such as Netflix, Disney and Amazon, to resume talks.

It came after weeks of stalemate and slow progress.

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