Patterns of Employment in California’s Multimedia and Digital Visual Effects Industry: The Form and Logic of an Emerging Local Labor Market

The paper opens with a brief description of the multimedia and digital visual effects industry in Southern California. The specifications of a questionnaire survey of two select groups of workers in the industry are delineated. The survey results show that workers in the industry are predominantly young, white, highly-educated and well-remunerated. Patterns of space-time filtering of individuals into the local labor market are investigated. These individuals originate for the most part outside of Southern California, but once employed in the industry and the region they tend to become locked in to the local jobs system. The sectoral and occupational distribution of workers is described, with particular reference to a core group of multimedia and visual digital effects employees. Workers are shown, too, to be highly organized in overlapping professional networks which function as important sources of information, know-how, and employment contacts. The paper ends with a brief allusion to the need for more research on processes of worker acculturation.

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