The software and digital information industries have grown fast and are keys to continued economic growth in the United States and around the world, a new report states.
The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) released a report Thursday that measures the economic impact of the two industries, saying it's the first of its kind. The report, entitled "Software & Information: Driving the Global Knowledge Economy," found that the industries grew faster than the U.S. economy on the whole and generated millions of American jobs, many of them high paying.
The SIIA report (PDF) found that the software and information industries grew 10.8% in 2005, while the GDP grew 3.2%. They employ more than 2.7 million Americans and showed 17% net employment growth between 1997 and 2006. The annual average wage in the industries was $75,400 in 2006, according to the report. That's 78% higher than the average $42,400 for all private-sector workers.
SIIA president Ken Wasch said "the digital revolution is spurring an unprecedented level of innovation and growth, providing significant new opportunities for software and information producers and their customers.
"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," he said while announcing the release of the report.
The report found that software and information sales through U.S. affiliates exceed $60.4 billion, 13% of the total $483 billion for all U.S. companies. The industries also contributed another $19 billion in cross-border exports, the report stated. Global ICT spending, which includes software and computer services, exceeds $3 trillion and is projected to grow to approximately $4 trillion in 2008, according to SIIA.
"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," Wasch said. "Sustaining -- and growing -- the significant economic and job impact delivered by these dynamic industries will require a supportive public policy environment."
Wasch said that as the U.S. economy faces uncertainty, the software and information industries will continue to propel growth.