There are now roughly 466,000 jobs in the U.S. "App Economy," up from zero in 2007. These jobs include those from employers at pure app firms such as Zynga, 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. The App Economy total also includes employment spillovers to the rest of the economy.
The new finding comes from a 17-page study titled "Where the Jobs Are" (PDF) sponsored by technology trade group TechNet and conducted by Dr. Michael Mandel of South Mountain Economics. It also found that App Economy jobs are spread throughout the nation, that they are growing quickly, and predicted that the location and number of app-related jobs is likely to shift greatly in the years ahead.
"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," TechNet President and CEO Rey Ramsey said in a statement. "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."
This number is actually significantly smaller than previous studies have suggested. For example, in September 2011 the Facebook app economy alone was estimated to employ between 182,744 and 235,644 people. This would imply that companies like Electronic Arts, Amazon, AT&T, Google, and Apple barely create the majority of the jobs in the U.S. Today's general number shouldn't be compared directly with the Facebook number from five months ago, not only because so much time has elapsed, but mainly since the two numbers come from different sources.
Obviously the source of the data matters: a Facebook-sponsored study last month found Facebook created 232,000 European jobs in 2011 alone. So yes, take all these numbers with a heavy dose of salt.
All we can say for sure is that Facebook is having an impact on the job market, apps or not, but it's very difficult to quantify it.
- Glassdoor: use your Facebook connections to find a job
- Facebook is stealing employees from everyone (infographic)
- Facebook partners with US government to reduce unemployment
- When Mark Zuckerberg wants to hire you, he takes you to the woods
- Facebook app traffic triples at work (report)
- 56% of employers check applicants' Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter