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Terror Attacks Impact Los Angeles Jobs - 2001-09-26

Slowdowns in air traffic have cost the jobs of tens of thousands of workers in the U.S. airline industry. Tightened security in the wake of the terror attacks using hijacked airplanes is also costing the jobs of airport workers. The fear of travel is hurting one U.S. industry, but it may be helping another.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is one of the world's busiest air terminals. However, cutbacks in flight schedules and reduced passenger traffic is costing the airport $1.4 million per day. Hundreds of airport workers have already lost heir jobs. Airport director Lydia Kennard says more losses are coming at the airport and its supporting businesses. "By late fall, 10 percent of the 400,000 jobs generated by LAX could be lost, at least temporarily," she says. Ms. Kennard says the cuts will affect 40,000 workers whose jobs depend directly or indirectly on airport traffic.

Parking lot attendant Camille Cochrane is one of 350 workers who lost their jobs last week. With heightened security, parking lots adjacent Los Angeles air terminals have been closed indefinitely. Ms. Cochrane says that people on the East Coast experienced greater pain in the terrorist incidents, but that she and her family are suffering. "We do sympathize and grieve with those who lost their lives in this tragic ordeal, but we also have lost," she said. "We've lost our livelihood."

Airport workers are asking the airport's governing board of commissioners to restore their jobs.

There is tight security at the airport, and also at Hollywood studios, where many actors are hoping to film their productions closer to home. Actor Robert Redford recently finished a movie called "Spy Games" in Morocco. The producer of the movie says it would not be filmed there today.

Cody Cluff of the Entertainment Industry Development Corporation expects a 10 percent jump in film and television production in Los Angeles. That could bring an infusion of hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy. It would also be good for movie industry workers, who now spend much of their working time away from home. But the industry analyst says that filming in Hollywood studios will also make movies look a little less realistic. "The down side is that some of those beautiful vistas that you might pick up in Thailand or other Asian countries or other parts of the world that are so unique and beautiful, probably won't be there [in the films]," he said. "And you'll see narrower camera shots, closer angles, things are designed to disguise the actual location."

One quarter of Hollywood films and television shows are filmed in Canada, where producers can save from five to 10 percent in production costs. While Hollywood actors may be spending a little less time at exotic foreign locations, such as Thailand and Morocco, they will probably continue making frequent flights to cities like Toronto and Vancouver.