Product Engineering // 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 five 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 programmers, 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.

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

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