'App Economy' is huge US job creator: study

February 7, 2012
Microsoft introduces a new app store for Windows in December 2011. The explosion of software applications for smartphones, tablet computers and Facebook has created nearly 500,000 jobs in the United States since 2007, according to a study published on Tuesday.

The explosion of software applications for smartphones, tablet computers and Facebook has created nearly 500,000 jobs in the United States since 2007, according to a study published on Tuesday.

The study, sponsored by TechNet, a bipartisan organization of top , found that the "App Economy" employs 466,000 people in the United States.

"The incredibly rapid rise of smartphones, tablets, and social media, and the applications -- apps -- that run on them, is perhaps the biggest economic and technological phenomenon today," the study said. "Almost a million apps have been created for the , and Android alone.

"On an economic level, each app represents jobs -- for programmers, for designers, for marketers, for managers, for support staff," it said.

California tops the list of US states with app-related jobs, according to the study performed by Michael Mandel, a Harvard-educated economist with the consulting firm South Mountain Economics.

One in every four "App Economy" jobs is located in California. New York is the top metropolitan area for app-related jobs although the number of jobs in San Francisco and San Jose, California, combined exceeds those in New York.

Rey Ramsey, president and chief executive of TechNet, said the rise of the App Economy, "demonstrates that we can quickly create and jobs through cutting-edge innovation.

"Today, the App Economy is creating jobs in every part of America, employing hundreds of thousands of US workers today and even more in the years to come," Ramsey said.

The study dates the rise of the App Economy to Apple's 2007 introduction of the iPhone and noted that the California gadget-maker's App Store now offers more than 500,000 applications.

According to a study published in September, the ecosystem of applications built for alone has created at least 182,000 jobs.

The study by the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business said using "more aggressive estimates" the Facebook "App Economy" has created a total of 235,644 jobs.

The Palo Alto, California-based Facebook has 850 million members and tens of thousands of applications have been developed by third parties to run on top of the social network.

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