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Writers strike cost L.A. economy $2.5 billion

/ Source: The Associated Press

The 100-day Hollywood writers strike took a $2.5 billion toll on the Los Angeles County economy — less than previously estimated.

The figure includes wages lost by writers and other entertainment industry workers when the strike shut down production, according to Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

His Tuesday estimate also represents damage done to Hollywood-dependent businesses such as limousine services and caterers in the area.

The Writers Guild of America strike began Nov. 5 and ended Feb. 12, after union members reviewed a tentative contract deal and voted to return to work.

Last week, Kyser pegged the cost of the walkout at $3.2 billion. The revised final number reflects a reassessment of data and the fact that entertainment is a difficult industry to track.

The industry typically represents $54 billion of the Los Angeles County economy, Kyser said.

The last writers strike, a 153-day walkout in 1988, resulted in an estimated $500 million in lost wages.