If you want good news about this economy there actually is a place you can find it: the grave of Steve Jobs.
Well, not really at Jobs’ graveside, but if we were to demonstrate some appreciation for the flicker of hope that exists in this miserable economy, it would start with Jobs and the chain reaction he started when Apple launched the iPhone in 2007.
Can you imagine a better opening statement in an economic study these days than the following?
How can the U.S. dig itself out of the current job drought? Government policy can temporarily boost employment. The ultimate answer, though, is innovation: The creation of new goods and services that spur the growth of new industries capable of employing tens or hundreds of thousands of workers.
These are some of the precious pearls of wisdom from a new study commissioned by TechNet, the tech industry’s trade group that was “founded in 1997 by high-tech’s leading CEOs to create a network of the nation’s strongest voices in the industry.” The study, Where the Jobs Are: The App Economy, was conducted by Dr. Michael Mandel of South Mountain Economics, LLC, and has some great news about the exponential benefits of new technologies.
It may seem obvious that Steve Jobs created whole new industries when Apple launched the iPhone, but this study now provides us with the supporting data to reflect the power of innovation in the free market system in America – in this case with the “App Economy,” which is responsible for producing the apps (or interactive applications) used on iPhones and other smart phones, and iPads and other computer tablets.
The most important findings in the study paints a heck of a picture thanks to the vision of Mr. Jobs, including these impressive numbers:
Total number of jobs in the App Economy: 466,000
Increase in 2011 of want ads with a reference to apps: + 45%
Total revenues from the app economy in 2011 = $20 billion
(includes app downloads, in-app revenues, sales of
virtual goods, and sales of physical goods and services)
Total number of apps in the Apple Apps store = 529,550
Total number of publishers of those apps = 124,475
Now this is an industry that is barely five years old and it is creating nearly one job for every app available through the Apple app store!
The study also reflects how these nearly half million jobs are distributed evenly across the country. While Silicon Valley naturally has the most jobs (including from San Francisco to San Jose), New York, Florida, Texas, and many other markets can boast in sharing in this mini-boom of jobs as of December 2011.
These are the kinds of numbers that illustrate the economic ripple effect that occurs when risk-taking, innovation, and creativity impact our country and our economy in ways that are awe-inspiring.
Steve Jobs and Apple may have lit the match, but an economic brushfire has resulted, and fortunately TechNet has delivered the proof that government should get out of the way so more fires can be lit under this economy.