Cameron Bay
Cameron Bay

The shutdown of the US porn industry after one of its actors tested positive for HIV has been blamed for disappointing job figures in the US.

Figures from the Labor Department showed that while unemployment fell from 7.4% to 7.3%, this was largely due to people dropping out of the workforce. The number of people in paid employment actually fell by 112,000.

The movie and entertainment industry shed 22,000 jobs over the period, and though figures for specific sectors of the business are not available, experts believe the 12-week shutdown of porn production may have caused the job losses.

"The adult film industry appears to have made a disappointing August jobs report look even worse," said Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post.

Joanne Cachapero of the porn industry's Free Speech Coalition trade group told Bloomberg that there are approximately 3,000 regular porn actors, and an even larger number of people working in production roles.

 "This has an economic ripple effect," Cachapero said. "No one wants to put out money, and with no money coming in, travel ceases." Cachapero said that "20,000 may seem high but may not be unrealistic."

The crisis in the industry is far from over, after a third actor tested positive for HIV on Friday, leading to a second indefinite moratorium on filming being imposed.

The first shutdown was sparked when actor Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV in early August, with a second testing positive shortly afterwards.

The job losses in the film industry come as Hollywood enjoyed record summer profits, with US box box office receipts coming in at $4.7 billion from May to September, and the filming calendar this year packed with shooting schedules for productions chalked for 2014 release.

"I just don't understand it," Paul Dergarabedian, an analyst at Hollywood.com, told Bloomberg.