Entertainment-related payroll jobs in February totaled 395,600, an increase of 5.5 percent from the previous month and 6.7 percent from February 2012. That's also a record high number of jobs for February (October 2002 was a slightly better month). Hollywood is a highly cyclical business, of course, and so employment levels tend to bounce around from month to month (the numbers usually range between 360,000 and 380,000). This being TV pilot season could be one explanation for a bump - as well as a pickup in the number of commercials being shot (commercial production is lumped into the motion picture and sound recording category). The latest job statistics for L.A. County are from December and they show a healthy 139,300 payroll jobs, a 3.3 percent jump from a year earlier (figures for January and February are due out later this month). Left unclear from all this data is how many L.A. jobs have been lost to other states and even countries that provide attractive incentive packages for filmmakers. Certainly, there have been losses, but it's unlikely they're huge - one more sign that so-called runaway production remains one of Hollywood's most over-hyped stories. By the way, these totals do not include freelance contracts, which make up a large portion of entertainment employment. Economists can only guess at those numbers. Here's the BLS chart.
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