There’s been much speculation concerning film employment in BC. I was interested in seeing what public data I could get my eyes on and found a very good chunk of information. Let me present the numbers analysis first and describe the methodology after.
BC Film Employment Lowest in Decade
The graph above shows monthly seasonly unadjusted film and television employment numbers in the province of BC, Ontario, and Quebec going all the way back to 1991.
The first observation that can be made is that there has been a recent and steep drop off in employment in BC and a surge in employment in Ontario. The most recent number is from October 2012 and it shows 4,658 employees, a 46% drop from 8,588 in October of 2012. In fact, the last time BC has seen film employment this low was October of 1999.
Data from the mid-2000s is missing because it was “Suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act” according to the government site.
BC Film Employment Has Rarely Competed with Ontario and Quebec
The only time the data has shown BC employment actually beating Ontario or Quebec only happened for a few months in 2010 when employment barely beat Quebec.
BC Government Expenditures for Film are at an All Time High
The graph above was taken from public budget numbers for the Film & Television Tax Credit and Production Services Tax Credit. This year spending by the government has reached a record high of almost $300 million.
Before anyone comments to dispute these number please read below.
The employment data was taken from Statistics Canada which is a database of government statistics. Film & television employment is broadly categorized under the North American Industry Classification system which is also used by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. It includes Film, TV series, commercials, and post-production.
The subsidy data is taken from various BC budgets from 2002 to 2012.