Platform Innovation // Blog

The Growth of the “App Economy”: Nearly 500,000 New Jobs in the U.S.

What a difference a few years can make.

In 2007, the job title “mobile app developer” didn’t exist. In 2012, there are approximately 466,000 jobs in the growing “app economy” in the United States, according to a survey released this month by TechNet, a bipartisan organization that promotes technology and innovation.

“America’s App Economy – which had zero jobs just 5 years ago before the iPhone was introduced – demonstrates that we can quickly create economic value and jobs through cutting-edge innovation,” said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet, in a release on the company’s website. “Today, the App Economy is creating jobs in every part of America, employing hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers today and even more in the years to come.”

The study shows that the top three states for app development jobs are: California (23.8 percent), New York (6.9 percent) and Washington (6.4 percent). The employment category is still too new to be tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but TechNet’s research shows that jobs have been created for engineers, marketers, managers, user interface designers and support staff.

The Future of App Development

The mobile industry is rapidly expanding, and as the world becomes increasingly connected by mobile devices, the role of the app developer will continue to grow. Some interesting highlights from recent research:

  • 40 percent of U.S. mobile consumers over the age of 18 now have smartphones, according to July 2011 data from Nielsen.
  • “By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world’s population at that time (7.3 billion).” (From a Cisco report)
  • Research firm IDC predicts that the number of annual mobile app downloads will increase from 10.7 billion in 2010 to nearly 183 billion by 2015, notably more than the 44 billion mobile app downloads by 2016 forecasted by its competitor ABI Research.

The data shows that mobile apps aren’t just a fad; they’re becoming a legitimate driver of commerce in the economy. Consider how your company fits in to the app economy — whether it’s using apps to increase staff productivity or creating new apps to engage your audience.

Applico’s Growth a Living Testament to Explosion of App Economy

Applico is a living testament to TechNet’s findings. Applico is hiring across the board for everything from engineers (Android Developers, iPhone Developers) to business development associates to business analysts, mobile strategists, product managers and more. Alex’s interview with Fox Business News just last week opened with a discussion on exploding mobile space and Applico’s need for talent.

Alex was also recently featured in a South Mountain Economics brief about the app economy.

When South Mountain Economics LLC analyzed the pattern of online want ads as part of the recent study we did for Technet, we found that app developers seemed to be hiring for tech and non-tech positions roughly equally. This conclusion was borne out by our conversations with Alex Moazed, founder and CEO of Applico, a highly-successful and rapidly-growing app development firm based in New York City.

Applico hired its first employee in May 2010. By the end of 2011 the company had 75 workers, and Moazed expects that Applico will more than double in size this year, going to perhaps as many as 200 workers by the end of 2012. About one-half of Applico’s new hires this year will be for non-tech functions, such as marketing, sales, public relations, business analysis and strategy.

Moazed believes that the kinds of people who would enjoy working at Applico are smart, quick-studies who understand digital and thrive in a high performance environment. He also wants people who will honor “Applico values” of transparency, openness, and an interest in improving their skills and in taking on increased responsibility, both for the company’s benefit and for their own ‘pursuit of happiness.’

Browse examples of the custom mobile apps we’ve built for our clients.

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