Almost 500,000 “app-related jobs” have been created in the U.S. thanks to the emergence of smartphones, tablets, and social networks.
Michael Mandel of SouthMountain Economics, in a new study sponsored by TechNet, estimates that the App Economy generated $20 billion in revenue in 2011, and that there are 466,000 Americans now employed in the app industry and related infrastructure. These have all been created since 2007 and the introduction of the iPhone.
The study suggests that California and New York are the top locations for app-related jobs, but that the whole of the U.S. is involved in the industry. One concern is the nature of the App Economy as “extremely fluid,” which means things could change very quickly. In five years time the number could be over a million, or it could be zero once more. It really depends how the market evolves.
The biggest takeaway from this report for me is how jobs and job creation evolves over time. Sure, manufacturing jobs have been lost in their droves in the U.S. and Europe, as Asian countries, particularly China, become hotbeds of manufacturing. But other jobs are springing up in their place, such as these app-related jobs.
I can vouch for this from personal experience. I’m a freelance writer writing exclusively online, and my job literally did not exist just 10 years ago. There were bloggers and people producing written content for websites, of course, but making a living from it? I very much doubt it.
As much as some critics will state that the Internet has been a bad influence on society, it has also done a hell of a lot of good. As has technology as a whole. Most of the apps we all download on a weekly basis are a pointless load of rubbish, and yet they are keeping us entertained while keeping hundreds of thousands of people employed.
In other words, God Bless Angry Birds.