The recent increase in the minimum wage to 15 dollars per hour by 2020 voted on by the Los Angeles City Council may have a larger impact on the entertainment business than previously thought.
Many people falsely believe that the entertainment industry contains only high paid creative professionals. In fact, caterers, prop houses, nurseries, and a variety of other businesses contribute to Hollywood productions.
The added cost to making a Hollywood production might very well make Hollywood a less attractive venue to do business.
“Costs are going to go up,” Stuart Waldman, president of the San Fernando Valley-based Valley Industry & Commerce Assn. told Variety. “It just makes L.A. a little less film friendly, a little more difficult. If someone can get catering for cheaper in Louisiana, do they make that decision to shoot there? ”
Julie Jackson of Jackson Shrub Supply, which for almost 80 years has supplied greenery to Hollywood sets, agrees with Walman. “We just started getting production to come back to California, and now could face them leaving us yet again, and perhaps permanently this time,” she stated in an email.
Paul Krekorian, one of the most liberal of all Los Angeles City Councilman, who approved of the wage hike and also leads an ad hoc committee on movie and TV production jobs, insists that the raising of the minimum wage is tantamount to ridding society of “poisonous” income inequality.
But, Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, couldn’t disagree with him more.
“You end up hurting city competitiveness and city tax revenues,” he says.