American politicians are in a hullabaloo over the 500,000 Foxconn low-wage jobs in China that they claim could be stationed in the United States, but no one seems to pay attention to the booming “App Economy” that created roughly the same amount of decent jobs stateside. Both sides of the aisle have made public statements on how the Cupertino, Calif.-based Company should bring its grueling $0.31-an-hour factory occupations home.
President Barack Obama reportedly once asked the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, “What would it take to make iPhones in the United States?” at the Silicon Valley Summit last year, and Jobs allegedly responded: “Those jobs aren’t coming back.” The New York Times described why those positions are not returning last month. You can watch the Republicans, perhaps besides Ron Paul, be just as dumbfounded about the labor issue in the video above.
Bureaucrats can toy with the idea of stimulating employment, but innovation —the creation of new goods and services— is already boosting industries and small businesses capable of employing hundreds of thousands of workers at respectable wages. For example: According to Indeed.com, the average app developer salary in Palo Alto, Calif., is $119,000 a year.
“Nothing illustrates the job-creating power of innovation better than the App Economy,” contended a new NetTech sponsored study (PDF) released today. “The incredibly rapid rise of smartphones, tablets, and social media, and [apps] that run on them, is perhaps the biggest economic and technological phenomenon today.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently unable to track App Economy employment numbers. TechNet is a “bipartisan policy and political network of technology CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy,” and it enlisted Dr. Michael Mandel of South Mountain Economics to conduct analysis from The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine database and track accurate employment statistics.
Dr. Mandel’s conclusions illustrated that the industries housed under the App Economy’s wide umbrella are responsible for an estimated 466,000 jobs (including spillovers not depicted in the above graph) across the states…
“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 President and CEO of TechNet Rey Ramsey. “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.”
Obviously the App Economy is not just Apple, but its ecosystem pioneered the new economy and is leading the charge.
The App Economy includes “pure” and “infrastructure” careers across Apple, Google, Facebook, Zynga, Electronic Arts, Amazon, AT&T and other app-related positions at large technology companies based in America. TechNet’s study claimed the No. 1 metropolis for App Economy jobs is New York City at 9.2-percent. However, San Francisco and San Jose surpass New York City with a joint 14.8-percent total. California tops the App Economy states list at 23.9-percent with New York trailing far-behind at 6.9-percent.
Measuring the App Economy involved many metrics, including counting the number of apps in each particular app store across the various platforms, as well as how many developers published. According to the study, the Apple App store saw 529,550 active apps by Dec. 12, 2011, which 124,475 active publishers uploaded. These statistics, combined with other methodology data, estimated that the App Economy generated almost $20 billion in revenue in 2011.
“The App Economy, along with the broad communications sector, has been a leading source of hiring strength in an otherwise sluggish labor market,” said Dr. Michael Mandel.
Professions in the industry include positions for programmers, user interface designers, marketers, managers, and support staff. The analysis indicates that the App Economy is fluid and booming quickly, and the amount and site of app-related jobs are “likely to shift greatly in the years ahead.”