Sep 1, 2023 - Economy

Hollywood strikes hit labor market

U.S. employment in the motion picture and sound recording industries
Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

A historic Hollywood strike weighed on the labor market last month — if only temporarily — as actors joined in on striking action after failing to reach a new labor deal with major studios.

  • Employment in the motion picture and sound recording industry — a subset of the information sector — fell by 17,000 last month, a decline that reflected "striking activity," the Labor Department said.
  • The industry hasn't shed that many jobs since the pandemic onset. Before that, you'd have to go back to 2013 to see a bigger drop.

The intrigue: The strike was just one event that held back jobs growth in an otherwise solid report.

  • The other was in the trucking transportation, a sector that lost 37,000 workers last month — largely reflecting the Yellow bankruptcy.

What they're saying: "Smoothing past these two one-off factors on the transportation and information sectors would have pushed August payroll gains above 200,000 – which is generally considered strong job growth for the U.S. economy," Glassdoor economist Aaron Terrazas wrote.

Go deeper: August's hiring pace is steady, but not rip-roaring

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