The app economy has grown from a $20 billion marketplace in 2012 to encompass an ecosystem worth more than $143 billion today, a new report from The App Association (ACT) revealed.
In its most recent “App Economy Report,” ACT noted app downloads hit 90 billion in 2016, driving direct revenues of $51 billion last year. The latter figure is expected to continue rising to hit some $100 billion by 2020.
“The app economy is stronger than ever and shows no signs of slowing,” ACT’s report indicates. “Because apps are the gateway to the burgeoning IoT, this is just the tip of the iceberg.”
But in addition to revenues, the report said the app economy is also driving job growth. Around 110,000 new software application developer jobs were added to the U.S. workforce between May 2014 and May 2016. ACT also noted those developer jobs also carry with them a multiplier effect, helping create five additional jobs within local communities for every high-tech position.
Additionally, ACT’s report observed that an additional half million computing jobs remain unfilled, with that number expected to rise to 1 million unfilled posts by 2024. That’s because the industry is “starved for skilled workers with computer science training.”
“Only one in four K-12 schools teach computer science, leaving three-quarters of American students ill-equipped to enter the modern workforce,” the report noted. “The United States must fund educational curriculum, from primary to post-secondary, to address the shortage of American computer science talent.”
Going forward, the report predicts leading apps will be driven by big data, with sensors playing a key role in app innovation.
For more on deep dives into app use cases, access the full report here.