By KERRI BYAM
Employment in the city’s film industry has sharply increased in recent years to 130,000 jobs, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report from Boston Consulting Group was released with an entertaining flourish in the “Saturday Night Live” studio at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, with the show’s actor Seth Meyers of the “Weekend Update” segment introducing Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“He’s going to come from out there,” said Meyers, pointing to the doors where the host of “Saturday Night Live” usually enters. “Just so you know, we told him that counts as hosting the show. Please tell him he did great.”
According to the report, the city’s film sector is the strongest in its history, generating direct spending of $7.1 billion in 2011, an increase of over $2 billion since 2002. Employment has risen from 30,000 jobs in 2004.
Studios are trying to keep with the demand of increased dramas, reality shows, and talk shows. With the Steiner Studios expansion on March 26, New York City is now home to nearly twice as much studio space as a decade ago.
“Our interviews with industry leaders consistently cited the strong support of the city and the state of New York as an important driver of growth,” said Katherine Sayre, a partner of the Boston Consulting Group.
Bloomberg said the boom in the media and entertainment industry has helped the city to weather the recession.
These jobs do not only cater to actors and production assistants, but also to carpenters, caterers, musicians, electricians, drivers, and many others.
The report said that digital media has an annual economic impact of $8 billion and employs more than 25,000 people full-time in the city.
Katherine Oliver, the commissioner of the New York City’s Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, said that loss of business to Canada was a problem for the city. When Bloomberg took office in 2002, a film company was shooting a movie about his predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, in Montreal.
“We worked really hard to turn things around; you [can] look at the numbers,” Oliver said.
Bloomberg said he hopes to continue to build New York’s cultural influence.
“We decided to honor SNL two years ago because this show is an important part of what makes New York City the media and entertainment capital of the world, and we’ve always said that,” said Bloomberg. “Some people don’t believe it, but it is true.”