Yellowstone TV Series Injects $70 Million into Montana’s Economy
Filming for the fourth season of the wildly popular Yellowstone TV series has just wrapped up, and the numbers are in, not for viewership, but rather for the enormous effect the series has had on Montana’s economy.
KGVO reached out to Dr. Patrick Barkey, Director of the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research on Monday, and he provided the eye-popping numbers.
“Well, it's a unique opportunity to take a look at an early exhaustive financial record of the spending that took place during season four of the Yellowstone television series here in and around the Bitterroot Valley, including Missoula and Helena as well, and they gave us an opportunity to really portray what production activities mean to the Montana economy,” began Dr. Barkey.
Barkey said season four alone provided millions to Montana’s bottom line.
“The bottom line is that there are quite a few jobs that are ultimately supported because of Yellowstone and when you look at that one season it deported more than 500 jobs across the state and those jobs accounted for about $25 million increase in income to Montana households,” he said.
Barkey said the actual TV series was only the starting point for economic impact.
“When you do this kind of work, the spending of Yellowstone is only the spark, if you will, that supports other spending, which makes the ultimate total impact of any activity, particularly this particular production larger than the production itself,” he said. “We're looking at output, which is gross receipts to Montana business and our business organization, totaling almost $86 million. So for an activity which took place in roughly five month period in our state, it was a pretty significant event.”
With just over 100 Montanans employed through the Yellowstone TV series, Barkey said the hourly pay averaged many times the minimum wage.
“The production employed directly 116 Montana people for an average of 11 40 hour weeks, and those jobs paid an average of over $66 an hour,” he said. “So these are not minimum wage jobs by any means. They're not year round jobs, but nonetheless they pay so much they pack quite a wallop if you will in the overall economy.”
The study found that because of “Yellowstone,” the Paramount global hit TV series starring Kevin Costner, there were:
527 permanent jobs in the state, not including the 624 Montana residents who were employed during filming as extras; $25.3 million in annual personal income for Montana households and $85.8 million in additional gross receipts for Montana businesses and non-business organizations.