There’s An App For That

One of my favorite economists, Michael Mandel writes:

Last spring Technet asked me to examine the size of the ‘App Economy’, focusing on the number of jobs being created. The official job statistics from the BLS were no help, given the speed at which the App Economy was evolving. Instead, I developed an innovative methodology for using a ’21st century’ database, The Conference Board Help-Wanted OnLine, to track App Economy jobs.

From the pdf article:

App Economy now is responsible for roughly 466,000 jobs in the United States, up from zero in 2007 when the iPhone was introduced.

Back to the blog post:

  • Today, the App Economy is clearly a job leader. It managed to create jobs during the worst recession since the Great Depression, suggesting that the App Economy will be a major driver of  job growth during the coming expansion.
  • The App Economy cross-cuts industries, including  leading internet companies such as Google and Facebook, hardware/software developers such as Apple and Electronic Arts, smaller app developers,  and wireless providers such as AT&T.
  • State and local governments that want to participate in the coming expansion should think about encouraging App Economy jobs. The methodology I used enabled me to identify App Economy jobs by state and MSA. Much more could be done along these lines.
  • The federal government needs to adopt policies to encourage App Economy growth. More about this in my next post.

Those last two bullets annoy me.

“Study finds a ‘problem’ in an industry? Oh, well we have a policy recommendation for that.”

“What? Oh, sorry, you said NO problem in this industry. Well, we have an app for that, too.”

To an economist with a hammer…

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