Software and Information Industries Drive Jobs and Economic Growth

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital information industry, recently released a first-of-its-kind report that measures the substantial economic impact of the software and information (S&I) industries on the U.S. and global economies. The report, entitled “Software & Information: Driving the Global Knowledge Economy,” finds that these industries are among the fastest growing and most important for propelling continued economic growth-both in the U.S. and globally.

“This report shows the critical role that the software and information industries play in a vibrant and dynamic U.S. economy. It underscores the importance of continued U.S. investment in innovation and technology,” SAYS Ken Wasch, SIIA President.

“The report’s findings take on an increased importance in the midst of our current economic uncertainty,” Wasch continues. “The demonstrated high-growth potential of software and information companies, along with their leading role in the digital revolution that is transforming all sectors of our society, will continue to propel the U.S. economy forward.”

The Report’s key findings reveal that software and information industries:

  • -Experience faster growth than overall U.S. economy. The rate of growth in the S&I industries significantly outpaces that of the U.S. economy as a whole. Recent growth of 10.8% compared to 3.2% GDP growth helps to sustain the expansion of the overall American economy.
  • -Generates millions of jobs for Americans. The U.S. software and information industries employ more than 2.7 million Americans, with 17% net employment growth between 1997 and 2006.
  • -Creates high-wage jobs. Employees working in the nation’s S&I industries are well compensated, earning among the highest wages in the country. The annual average wage paid in the S&I industries was $75,400 in 2006, 78% higher than the average $42,400 for all private-sector workers.
  • -Competes successfully around the world. American firms comprising the S&I industries are world leaders, selling products and services in markets around the world with strong sales and revenue growth. S&I direct sales through U.S. affiliates are over $60.4 billion, 13% of the total $483 billion for all U.S. companies. Additionally, the S&I contributed another $19 billion in cross-border exports.
  • -Propels global ICT spending. Global ICT spending, a broad basket that includes a measurement of expenditures for software and computer services is greater than $3 trillion and is projected to grow to approximately $4 trillion in 2008.

“It is clear from these findings that the digital revolution is spurring an unprecedented level of innovation and growth, providing significant new opportunities for software and information producers and their customers,” continues Wasch. “Innovation in the software and information industries is clearly a critical reason why the U.S. continues to be the global economic leader, but there is little room for complacency if America hopes to maintain its leadership position.

Sustaining-and growing-the significant economic and job impact delivered by these dynamic industries will require a supportive public policy environment.”

For the full text of the report, please visit:

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