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Labour and employment

A large number of businesses in the screen industry do not employ permanent staff, but instead use the services of self-employed people, such as freelancers, contractors and consultants. Self-employed staff are not included in employment counts, or in salary and wage statistics.

Information is for the 2008 financial year, and for the 2008 financial year compared with the 2007 financial year unless otherwise stated.

Employee counts 

RME (Rolling Mean Employment) is a measure of the average number of staff a business employs (full and part time, temporary and permanent) over a 12-month period. 

  • The RME count for the screen industry was 6,713 in 2008. 
  • With an RME count of 2,622, the broadcasting sector accounted for 39 percent of total RME for the industry. 
  • Film exhibition had the next highest RME count, at 2,069 – a 39 percent increase from 2007. 
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of screen production companies had zero employees, that is, they used only self-employed staff such as freelancers and contractors. 
  • The majority (86 percent) of contractors did not have employees. 
  • Businesses in the distribution, exhibition, and broadcasting sectors were more likely to have employees, with only 32 percent having an RME of zero.

Salaries and wages 

  • Screen industry businesses paid a total of $381 million in salaries and wages to employees in 2008. This figure does not include payments to self-employed persons, such as freelancers or consultants. 
  • Broadcasters accounted for 46 percent of salaries and wages in the industry ($174 million). 
  • Workers in the film exhibition sector earned the lowest average wages in 2008, at just under $17,000 per worker compared with an average of more than $20,000 in 2007 and just under $15,000 in 2006. 
  • The volatility in the film exhibition sector’s average salary is most likely due to the small number of businesses in the sector, and businesses’ movements in and out of the sector depending on their primary activity in a given year.

Origin of workers 

Businesses were asked to indicate where employees usually reside. 

  • In 2008, the majority of employment costs (98 percent) were paid to New Zealand- resident workers. 
  • No other country or country grouping contributed significantly to employment costs.

 Screen Industry Origin of Labour Employed

See tables 25–27 under Available files for more information on labour and employment in the screen industry.

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