American businesses are driving the $950 billion app economy, according to a new report by ACT | The App Association.

The 2018 State of the App Economy report explores the all-encompassing app ecosystem that results from software’s integration into new business and consumer platforms. Today, apps serve as the driving interface for the connected devices, modern machines, and internet of things (IoT) innovations that enable us to engage with data from all aspects of our lives. The report identifies the value and potential of the app economy across the United States and highlights the contributions of more than one hundred American app developers and tech innovators in this thriving and vibrant ecosystem. Here are a few key findings from the report.

The app economy drives job creation, growth, and new opportunities.

  • $950.6 billion value – The value of the app economy is derived from a thriving consumer market and a burgeoning number of enterprise applications and IoT innovations.
  • 4.7 million employed – The app economy employs more than 4.7 million Americans as developers, software engineers, systems managers, and teachers.
  • $86,000 average salaryWith the nation’s most competitive salaries, the average app economy job pays nearly double the national average ($48,000).
  • 444,000 new computing jobs will be created – At its current rate, the app economy will add 440,000 new jobs to the American workforce by 2024.


  • Businesses add new value to the app economy – Two out of three businesses utilize enterprise apps, complementing the 175 billion consumer downloads last year.


  • 28 billion app-enabled IoT devices – As the intermediary between IoT devices and their users, apps will play a key role in the IoT market and its growth.

The app economy has made some incredible leaps, but a few worrisome trends risk holding it back.

  • For every eight available computing jobs, there’s only one computer science graduate to fill it – Just 59,000 U.S. college graduates earned computer science degrees last year. That represents only a fraction of the 503,000 unfilled computing jobs nationwide.


  • Cybercrime poses serious risks to the app economy A lack of security protocols and a shortage of 285,000 cybersecurity professionals could threaten the app economy’s future.


  • 34 million Americans cannot benefit from the app economy – 34 million Americans cannot access, benefit from, or contribute to the app economy because they lack access to broadband.

With the right resources, the app economy will reach new heights.

  • Use of unlicensed spectrum and 5G will create jobs and grow the app economy in America5G and technologies like Airband will support greater employment and add more than $200 billion in new value to the app economy.


  • Apprenticeships hold the key to a new app economy workforceApprenticeships’ on-the-job training could complement vocational training and academic efforts to equip Americans with the skills to meet the app economy’s computing and cybersecurity needs.


  • End-to-end encryption will be a key security method for data Strong data protections will help protect the benefits of the app economy against security threats.

To read the full report, and learn more about the app economy in your state, please click here.