The Internet generates 6% of the U.S. economy and connects 92% of U.S. residents with the broader world, according to a new Internet Association study.
“The results of this study are incredibly exciting for all of us who care about and advocate for the continued growth of the Internet economy, its companies and the users they serve,” Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, told U.S. News and World Report.
The trade group, which represents companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, estimates that businesses directly involved with the Internet, such as eCommerce, social media, and web design companies, generated about $966 billion during 2014. Even more amazing, the value of the Internet-related businesses’ contributions grew 110% between 2007 and 2012 — faster than any other U.S. industry’s contribution.
As of 2012, Internet-related businesses have employed nearly three million people, which is about 2% of U.S. jobs. That’s less than the amount of jobs sectors like construction, finance, and healthcare provide. However, because it’s grown faster than any other sector, it boosted its employment 107% between 2007 and 2012 while the Great Recession rocked other industries.
“The results of this study confirm our firm belief that every entity has the opportunity to elevate their brand through the power of a smart presence on the internet,” said Colby Richards, Managing Partner with Brown Box Branding Seattle. “The fact that it is only generating 6% of the U.S. economy, yet connects 92% of U.S. residents with the rest of the world is further evidence that this is only the tip of the iceberg. This is a fantastic time for businesses of all sizes to enjoy massive growth opportunities.”
What’s more, in comparison to the national average of $61,547, Internet-related jobs also paid an average $79,515 per year in 2012.
“The Internet often has an ‘everywhere but nowhere’ feel; however, in reality, jobs in the Internet sector have doubled, contributions to real GDP (gross domestic product) have increased by more than two-fold, and employee wages far surpass the national average,” said Beckerman.
The rapid expansion of the Internet reflects the growth of social media, and increasingly affordable Internet access through mobile technology. Currently, about three billion people across the world have Internet access, equal to 43% of the world’s population, according to the United Nations’ International Telecommunication Union.