Strike Could Cost L.A. Region Up To $2.5B

The writers’ strike isn’t just taking its toll on your TV watching — it could drag the L.A. economy down to the tune of anywhere from $380 million to $2.5 billion, reports Variety.

The entertainment business is the region’s third-biggest employer, generating the county $46.8 billion in economic activity every year. With the strike in its seventh week, and the number of scripted series that have been stopped totaling 52, the effects are being felt far beyond the scribes themselves, by places like restaurants and hotels. According to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., it’s already cost the city $342.7 million.

The data was presented yesterday at a hearing held at L.A. City Hall by the City Council’s Housing Community and Economic Development committee. WGA members and supporters reportedly filled the room, with some providing testimony. Representatives from The Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, whom the WGA is striking against, were not present.

UCLA economist Jerry Nickelsburg believes that if the strike goes on for five months, the economic impact will be roughly $380 million as other forms of entertainment, like video games and web series productions, will fill the void, reports Variety. The WGA’s internal projections put the losses significantly higher, at $2.5 billion.

The Motion Picture Association of America released a statement yesterday claiming that so far, lost wages due to the strike include $120 million for WGA members, $205 million for International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, and $50 million for Teamsters and other craft union members.

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