3,800 Really Cool Animation Jobs Posted in April, Though Only 17 Are For Pay

Bob Lincoln May 22, 2012 3

Recent Los Angeles Animation Internship Job Fair. Students and young professionals waited in line for hours to have their portfolios and self-esteem destroyed by a group of well-known industry veterans.

The U.S. Dept. of Labor reported yesterday that last month, animation industry employers posted 3,800 really cool job openings, though only 17 were for paid positions. That number was virtually unchanged from March, when employers posted 3,640 new cool jobs of which only 19 were paid.

Government analysts again reported that the unusually large disparity between the number of new jobs “created” and the number of new jobs created where employees would actually “earn money” was the result of the ongoing animation industry trend to treat a job’s “coolness” as compensation somehow more valuable than money.  “Get your name out there,” “work on really amazing projects” and “be part of a really awesome team of artists” remained the top 3 forms of compensation mentioned on April job postings.

These were just a few of the findings in The Animation Job and Labor Misuse Report, a monthly DOL index of nationwide hiring trends and employment activity in the animation and visual effects industries. The index tracks job and employment statistics including new hires, employee movement in and out of the job market as well as employment trends and patterns.

The number of new jobs working on cool projects where employees were promised payment if “the show gets picked up by a studio” or “if we can raise funds on Kickstarter” remained at 1,000, unchanged from March.

April also saw an increase in the number of job’s posted for “Unpaid Interns,” up 1.9% from March.  This is the 17th consecutive month where unpaid internship postings increased. Employers continue to categorize more and more production jobs as unpaid internships, including entire categories of jobs in story development, modeling, lighting, rigging and animation.

89% of the April internship postings listed “Nice ass” as the top requirement for the position, down slightly from March’s 90%. “Willingness to do anything” and “Ability to fix weird shit happening on iPhones” remained unchanged at 86% and 83% respectively.

April’s separation rate rose slightly to 3.9%, almost identical to March’s rate.  The separation rate includes layoffs, voluntary quits, forced retirements, changing of locks, sudden company insolvency, stints in rehab and moving back home to live with parents. The quitting rate provides insight into worker willingness or ability to change jobs.  The number of quits in April was 18, far below the 2960 recorded in December, 2007, when the recession officially began.  April’s number of quits primarily reflects an April 13 incident at a major Los Angeles studio, where a fight reportedly broke out on the lot between a newly formed previs team and the entire set design department.

Photo credit: Beijing job fair by YoTuT | http://www.flickr.com/photos/yotut/3640958078/ | CC-BY-3.0

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