New York— Actors’ Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has released a statement in response to the latest national jobs report, which notes that of the million new jobs expected last month, only 266,000 were actually added.
“This report should be a reminder that we are still in a pandemic, and the arts especially are in a pandemic economy that will not be fully recovered by September,” said Brandon Lorenz, national director of communications and public policy for Actors’ Equity Association. “Equity members know only too well how crucial government assistance is in the survival of workers who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. The live entertainment industry was one of the first to shutter, and will be among the last to fully return. We urge Congress to extend pandemic unemployment insurance past its September expiration.”
Background: Unemployment provisions are scheduled to expire September 6 without further action from Congress. Equity has been advocating for expanded unemployment benefits since the beginning of the pandemic, when it successfully fought for the CARES Act PUI to include future lost work and then for mixed-income PUI in the HEROES Act. Most recently, the union also pushed for the extension of pandemic unemployment benefits in the American Rescue Plan Act.
ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks
May 7, 2021