The US software industry grew at twice the speed of the overall US employment, contributing $1.6 trillion to the country’s GDP in 2018, according to a study by research organization Software.org.
Not only has it employed 3.1 million people directly, but the industry is also supporting as many as 14.4 million US jobs across every economic sector. Between 2016 and 2018, jobs supported by the software industry increased 7.3 percent. By contrast, US jobs grew by three percent over the same period.
In addition, the industry has expanded by 19% since 2016, nearly two times faster than the overall economy.
What’s more, the industry is expanding to new territories beyond the traditional IT hubs such as the Silicon Valley. Today, there are many IT companies operating in the states of Nevada, South Dakota, Wyoming, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Montana.
During the two years period, software’s economic impact in the states of Nevada, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming grew by more than 30%. In 2018, 39 of the 50 states experienced double-digit growth.
“Software creates jobs in every state and every economic sector—and twice as fast as the national average,” said Victoria Espinel, President of Software.org. “Now, we have to ensure that anyone who wants a software job can get one, regardless of their gender, race, or where they live.”
The organization has urged the government to accelerate workforce training programs, saying the talent shortage will only worsen the years to come.
Largely due to the shortage, the software workers are paid far higher salary than their counterparts in other sectors. The average wage for software jobs increased to $114,000 in 2018, the report added.
“Software jobs aren’t simply tech sector jobs. They are manufacturing jobs, health care jobs, and agriculture jobs,” said Chris Hopfensperger, Executive Director of Software.org.
“Already, though, open software jobs far outpace available workers. Business and government leaders alike must invest in technical training to help workers get the skills they need for the jobs of the future.”