In another sign of Hollywood’s continuing bounceback from last summer’s strikes, 12,000 motion picture and sound recording jobs were added in January, according to the federal government’s monthly employment report.
The increase brought the total jobs in motion picture and sound recording to 444,800 and reflected the restart of many projects put on hold amid the labor actions, including Ben Stiller’s Apple TV+ series “Severance,” which resumed production last month.
Broadcasting and content provider jobs were largely unchanged at 343,600. Employment in publishing industries rose by 2,9000 to 938,000.
The gains came amid a strong showing for the economy as a whole. The nation added 353,000 jobs last month, the most in a year. December’s job gains were also revised upward, to 333,000 from the reported 216,000.
Economists were expecting just 177,000 new jobs in January, according to The Associated Press.
The entertainment industry lost at least 45,000 jobs last year due to the strikes, with the peak coming in September, prior reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. Jobs have been steadily returning as productions ramp back up following the settlements with WGA in September and SAG-AFTRA in November.
Broader information industry figures were also strong, with a total of 15,000 jobs added, but the data shows a loss of 76,000 jobs overall since November 2022.
Nationwide unemployment stayed at 3.7% for the third month in a row, and the number of people without jobs across industries was little changed at 6.1 million, the BLS said. Average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 19 cents to $34.55, reflecting a 4.5% increase over the last year, even as the average workweek edged down to 34.1 hours, a half hour less than a hear ago.
While the overall report bodes well for the economy, it did reveal some concerns.
Moody’s Chief Economist Mark Zandi called the report a “head-scratcher” in a post on X. “Payroll jobs surged in the month, and previous months were revised up, but hours worked declined big as did household employment,” he wrote. “Measurement problems are clearly at play. But abstracting from all the statistical noise, the signal is the economy is VERY strong.”