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Most of 890,000 Entertainment Employees Are Out of Work Due to Pandemic

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said these losses ”[trickle] down to many of the small businesses that provide support for this industry“

Most of the 890,000 film and entertainment employees in the U.S. are now “not working” due to the ongoing pandemic, according to a press release from Los Angeles County.

The numbers were reported to the county’s Economic Resiliency Task Force on Tuesday, though there were no details provided on the specific number or percentage of film and entertainment workers affected by the coronavirus-led economic downturn. Supervisor Kathryn Barger said on Wednesday that these losses “[trickle] down to many of the small businesses that provide support for this industry.”

The supervisor also said that 80% of jobs in the restaurant industry have been lost and over 75% of those who lost their jobs were making, on average, less than $50,000 a year.

“It was sobering,” Barger said of the numbers. “Anyone listening to yesterday’s meeting heard loud and clear that employees and businesses are suffering.”

On Monday, L.A. County officials announced that they have set a July 4 goal for a “full or staged” reopening of retail, restaurants and malls.

“I understand the urgency to reopen and know many of the experts the County has assembled … have been working hard to develop safe and efficient plans to revitalize their sectors as early as next month,” Barger said in a statement on Tuesday. “I remain focused on working with industry leaders and health officials to safely make way for Los Angeles County to reopen by the Fourth of July.”

For the record: Due to an inaccurate statement from a county official, this post has been updated to reflect that 890,000 is the total number of film and entertainment jobs in the industry, not the total number of those who are not working due to the pandemic.