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More Than 500,000 Jobs Created in ‘App Economy’ – Report

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More than a half-million jobs have been created since the iPhone debuted in 2007 as part of the “app economy” — the ecosystem surrounding application development, according to a report from CTIA — The Wireless Association and the Application Developers Alliance.

The new study, titled “The Geography of the App Economy,” ranks states based on the number of app-related jobs there and their economic impact. It also rates them on “app intensity” — the proportion of app-related jobs compared to the overall total. Washington state took that title with app workers making up 4.47 percent of total employment. California won in overall numbers (152,000 jobs) and in economic impact ($8.2 billion).

The study grew out of a previous report from February that drew criticism for including even the pizza delivery guy across the street in its numbers of jobs created from app development. This report notes that the “app economy” isn’t limited to those who design and create apps, but include those who “extend the app to new operating systems, add new capabilities, and respond to customer questions” and “make sure that the apps are secure against hackers and cyber-attack.” And then there are the salespeople and office staff and others.

The jobs number is an estimate based on job postings for Web developers, computer software engineers and computer programmers in April. From there, the authors from South Mountain Economics guesstimated a total number of development jobs and other positions created in support of the app jobs based on data from The Conference Board and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Though the top app-creation states are obvious, there are some surprises farther down the list, such as Georgia (No. 5) with companies such as Airwatch, which makes software that helps companies manage smartphones provided to employees as well as BYOD scenarios.

In addition, it notes “app clusters” — and they’re not necessarily where you might think. It points to one in St. Louis, home to companies such as Integrity, a digital marketing agency; Graphite Lab, a videogame and website developer; and Coolfire Solutions, which in addition to commercial work produces apps for “the military and intelligence communities.”

It notes other app clusters in Austin and Dallas, Texas; Madison, Wis.; and Detroit.

The message is similar to that from a recent tech job “hot spot” map produced by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute — IT jobs aren’t just in Silicon Valley.

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