Milken Study Says Strike Cost California Billions

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Did the writers strike help push California into a recession? One think tank says yes.

The strike between writers and studios that idled TV crews and upset prime time schedules also did a number on the California economy to the tune of billions of dollars in lost output and the slashing of 37,700 jobs.

That's according to a report by economic think tank, The Milken Institute, which asserts that the strike helped tip the state's economy into recession.

The report projects that, for 2008, the economic impact on all industries will include a $2.3 billion decline in wages and salaries, a retail sales hit of $830 million and a $3 billion decline in total personal income.

The study says the impact of an entertainment industry strike is particularly hard on the state because of the concentration of jobs and economic output in the sector. For example, it said, 36% of the output and 42% of the empployment in the information sector in 2006 were in the film and TV business.

the Institute says the effects of the strike should lessen in 2009, unless the Screen Actors Guild is unable to reach an agreement with producers and another strike ensues.