The Internet Association, a group representing Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter, Uber and many more firms, revealed in a new report that the internet sector is now the fourth-largest sector of the U.S. economy, behind real estate, government and manufacturing.
“The U.S. internet industry is an American success story that’s creating jobs in every sector of the economy,” IA Chief Economist Christopher Hooton said in a press release. “Over the last decade it’s quadrupled in size, jumping from a top-20 industry to the top four in a matter of years. It continues to be a primary driver of our economy, both in terms of jobs and output — and will be for the foreseeable future.”
The internet sector is responsible for nearly 6 million direct jobs, which accounts for 4 percent of U.S. jobs. It also indirectly supports an additional 13 million jobs.
“The sector demonstrates strong positive downstream effects for the economy, supporting two indirect jobs for every internet job,” the association explained.
In addition, the internet sector invested $64 billion in the U.S. economy through capital expenditures, with IA’s members investing over $42 billion alone.
IA’s data also showed that the internet sector grew nine times faster than the country’s economy as a whole from 2012 to 2018. Overall GDP grew by 41.8 percent from 2007-2018, from $14.5 trillion to $20.5 trillion. The internet sector grew about 372 percent, from $438.8 billion in value-added to about $2.1 trillion — nine times faster than the overall economy during this period.
The IA noted that in comparison, the information sector and manufacturing sector grew by 59.3 percent and 26.6 percent, respectively, over the same period.
The study used 2018 government data from the U.S. Census, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to estimate the internet sector’s contributions to the American economy.