Billions of dollars to subsidize film and television projects in New York hasn't had a statistically significant impact on employment in the entertainment industry, according to a new study.
University of Southern California associate professor Michael Thom conducted a peer-reviewed analysis of a handful of state's that offer the bulk of motion picture incentives in the country and found that — when controlled for economic factors such as the growth in the labor market — there is "not much" of a link between job creation and the lucrative credit offered in New York, which was created in 2004.
The study represents a continuation of scholarly analyses questioning whether the refundable tax credit, which was recently extended by state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, is a prudent investment.
Thom determined that employment in the entertainment industry, which increased in New York by more than 60 percent from 2004 to 2017, based on federal jobs numbers, was largely the product of trends in the overall economy and national growth in the industry. He also found a low correlation between the credit and wages paid in the below-the-line jobs that benefit from the credit.
“It’s not the incentives, its simply the normal ebb and flow of the labor market," Thom said.