Dodgy CTU figures

The Herald reports:

According to many reports, the New Zealand film industry is experiencing a renaissance. A number of big budget international productions are set to start filming in New Zealand in the next few years, and it has been announced that the next two films in James Cameron’s Avatar trilogy will be produced in our country.

But according to the Council of Trade Unions, these good news stories hide a less palatable truth.

The CTU says that the industry is failing its workers – that half those who worked in the film-making business in 2013 earned less than $2625 for the whole year.

My first reaction on reading this, was it looks very dodgy. This is obviously not people in FT employment, but could be people who spend a few weeks on a film.

It also says, based on Statistics New Zealand data, the average annual pay for three-quarters of the 12,600 jobs within the industry was $13,200.

Which is below the minimum wage so clearly not FT jobs.

“The statistics quoted refer to jobs, not people,” says Selina Joe from the New Zealand Film Commission.

“The number of jobs in the screen industry differs from the number of people employed, as people may hold multiple jobs within the industry.”

She goes on to say that many who work in the industry work part-time or casually, and that it’s impossible to take the data at face value.

So the CTU is just attacking the industry again.

She points to other figures that show wages in the industry are higher than average.

“In 2012, PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that the average fulltime wage for those directly employed in the film and television industry was $70,900 per annum,” she says.

Lies, damned lies and statistics from the CTU.

He says that 4900 people worked in the 12,600 jobs in 2013; an average of 2.6 jobs per person. “But even if a person had three jobs at the median earnings for film work, they would have received only $7875 for the year,” he says.

“Additionally, a quarter of the jobs got $625 or less. The number of jobs for each person is an indication of the insecurity of the work.

This is ridiculous. That is probably people appearing as Orc extras or something. Quoting figures which are not about FT jobs is meaningless.

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