Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Nearly 500,000 "App Economy" Jobs in U.S.

Related to an earlier post today about how just Apple's iPhone division is now bigger than the entire Microsoft company (based on Q4 sales revenue), there's a new study that was just released today titled "Where the Jobs Are: The App Economy," by Michael Mandel, economist and blogger.

From the Executive Summary:

Nothing illustrates the job-creating power of innovation better than the App Economy. 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. Almost a million apps have been created for the iPhone, iPad and Android alone, greatly augmenting the usefulness of mobile devices.

On an economic level, each app represents jobs—for programmers, for user interface designers, for marketers, for managers, for support staff. But how many? Conventional employment numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are not able to track such a new phenomenon. So in this paper we analyze detailed information from The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine database, a comprehensive and up-to-the-minute compilation of want ads, to estimate the number of jobs in the App Economy.

This analysis shows that the App Economy now is responsible for roughly 466,000 jobs in the United States, up from zero in 2007 when the iPhone was introduced. This total includes jobs at ‘pure’ app firms such as Zynga, a San Francisco-based maker of Facebook game apps that went public in December 2011. App Economy employment also includes app-related jobs at large companies such as Electronic Arts, Amazon, and AT&T, as well as app ‘infrastructure’ jobs at core firms such as Google, Apple, and Facebook. In addition, the App Economy total includes employment spillovers to the rest of the economy.

Moreover, we find that App Economy jobs are spread around the country. The top metro area for App Economy jobs, according to our research, is New York City and its surrounding suburban counties, although San Francisco and San Jose together substantially exceed New York. And while California tops the list of App Economy states, states such as Georgia, Florida, and Illinois get their share as well. In fact, more than two-thirds of App Economy employment is outside of California and New York. Our results also suggest that the App Economy is still growing at a rapid clip, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone."


13 Comments:

At 2/07/2012 6:45 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

one of the exciting things about the app economy is opportunity for individuals and small businesses who can get in the game with a quality product without brick & mortar or traditional "payroll".

the fly in the ointment is protection of intellectual property especially in areas outside of this country.

you can be selling a hot app like pancakes one day and the next day someone has a cheap knock off...

 
At 2/07/2012 7:17 PM, Blogger Don Culo said...

Almost a million apps have been created for the iPhone, iPad and Android alone, greatly augmenting the usefulness of mobile devices.

*************

Ha ha ha ha, Angry Birds ?

 
At 2/07/2012 7:20 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

Angry Bird Playing Costs Employers $1.5 Billion

 
At 2/07/2012 11:45 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

These are unstable jobs that don't help at all. Not only do they occur in too small of a number, the churn negates any alleged progress.

What is needed is secure work for all perceived skill levels.

 
At 2/08/2012 1:43 AM, Blogger Dr. Seabiscuit Hufflepuff said...

Seth, perhaps you can help me out here. How do these jobs not help? Many people use apps every day. Sure, many are for entertainment, but many are useful - such as GPS maps, translators (I live in Korea, trust me it helps) conversion scales and the list goes on. Half a million jobs since 2007 DURING a recession isn't anything to sneeze at. Just because they aren't the perfect jobs that you want doesn't make them useful.

We don't need work for all perceived skills. We need value creation from high demand skilled workers - such as entrepreneurs, so they can help create more jobs i.e. Apple products.

 
At 2/08/2012 1:43 AM, Blogger Dr. Seabiscuit Hufflepuff said...

Seth, perhaps you can help me out here. How do these jobs not help? Many people use apps every day. Sure, many are for entertainment, but many are useful - such as GPS maps, translators (I live in Korea, trust me it helps) conversion scales and the list goes on. Half a million jobs since 2007 DURING a recession isn't anything to sneeze at. Just because they aren't the perfect jobs that you want doesn't make them useful.

We don't need work for all perceived skills. We need value creation from high demand skilled workers - such as entrepreneurs, so they can help create more jobs i.e. Apple products.

 
At 2/08/2012 11:11 AM, Blogger juandos said...

sethstorm whines yet again: "Not only do they occur in too small of a number, the churn negates any alleged progress"...

You of course of some credible evidence that the money these people generate with their apps work is somehow a negative value overall, right?

"What is needed is secure work for all perceived skill levels"...

According to whom sethstorm?

 
At 2/08/2012 11:21 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


We don't need work for all perceived skills. We need value creation from high demand skilled workers - such as entrepreneurs, so they can help create more jobs i.e. Apple products.

The problem with that is not all are fit to be skilled workers. Damning them to a lifetime of poverty for that is a recipe for disaster.

Trying to force everyone to be an entrepreneur is forcing people to do something for which their talents are not well-suited.

The blue model of work, worked. Not only did companies prosper, but so did everyone else. A wider amount of people were able to move upwards since they were treated like long-term investments. It proved that you didnt have to be an entrepreneur or a sociopath to prosper.


Half a million jobs since 2007 DURING a recession isn't anything to sneeze at. Just because they aren't the perfect jobs that you want doesn't make them useful.

It's like a 24oz cup being thrown into an empty pool. Sure, it'll make a splash, but it won't fill the void of 15 million. It's more likely to evaporate away.

Security and stability are good things, that when provided to all people, allow for greater profitability.

 
At 2/08/2012 11:25 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...


You of course of some credible evidence that the money these people generate with their apps work is somehow a negative value overall, right?

The evidence from that is the unstable nature of the work. One can't really plan into the long-term unlike the kind of work that lasts for decades with a company - even if over positions of increasing responsibility.


According to whom sethstorm?

According to the millions that are unemployed as well as the businesses that do right by their employees(and profit).

 
At 2/08/2012 3:56 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

The evidence from that is the unstable nature of the work.

Where is the evidence these jobs are unstable? Of the half a million jobs created, how many are now gone? You talk about churn, where is it?

 
At 2/08/2012 4:07 PM, Blogger juandos said...

sethstorm says: "The evidence from that is the unstable nature of the work. One can't really plan into the long-term unlike the kind of work that lasts for decades with a company - even if over positions of increasing responsibility"...

So you have nothing again it seems...

Define long term sethstorm...

US Steel at one time had employed generations from the same family for its Illinois and Indiana plants...

Between new techology and ever increasing costs of federally mandated compliances most all those plants are gone and the workforce with it...

So if you really want to complain about jobs being 'killed' off maybe you should do some real homework first...

Just suggesting is all...

 
At 2/08/2012 5:07 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

And really, what evidence is there that these jobs aren't long term? The industry didn't even exist 5 years ago.

 
At 2/08/2012 7:57 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Ah, but those blue collar jobs were nice and stable eh? But they were nothing compared to those good old peasant farmer jobs back in the middle ages. Why, generation upon generation of folks farmed that field or tended those sheep and things were great! Pay was stable and so were prices. Ah, for the good old days before all these newfangled apps and suchlike.

 

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