The many companies that rely on Facebook and its platform contribute quite a bit to the US job market. All of the third-party Facebook apps and games result in the employment of between 182,744 and 235,644 people. Based on average salary estimates, they contribute between $12.19 billion and $15.71 billion in wages and benefits to the US economy, according to the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
There's one very important part to note about this study: Facebook funded it. The social networking giant definitely has a positive impact on US employment, but how big is very hard to say and these numbers may be higher than expected.
The researchers found the market for Facebook apps has directly created 53,000 new jobs in the software companies that design the apps and indirectly created at least an additional 129,000 jobs. The boom in software jobs has apparently created additional jobs in the businesses that supply the app developers and from the increased household spending of the developers' employees.
Zynga, a social gaming company which recently filed for a $1 billion IPO, plays a big part. In fact, the study says the firm now has more than 2,000 employees and an estimated value of $15 to $20 billion.
If you want more information, check out the full seven-page report, titled The Facebook App Economy (PDF). For the lazy, here is the conclusion:
As a result of analyzing the aforementioned factors and data, a conservative estimate of the employment impact of developers building apps on the Facebook Platform in the United States in 2011 is 182,744 full time jobs. In other words, at least 182,744 jobs were added to the US economy as a result of the Facebook App Economy. Similarly, these economic models suggest that a conservative estimate of the total employment value of Facebook’s app economy is $12.19 billion. Using more aggressive estimates, the Facebook App Economy created 235,644 jobs, adding a value of $15.71 billion dollars to the US economy.
All these developers are likely looking forward to this Thursday, which is when Facebook's f8 developer conference is taking place. Almost every year, the social networking giant dedicates a full day to helping them out with their apps.
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