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Tech Sector Supports 18 Million U.S. Jobs, Represents 12% of GDP, Says CTA

Arlington, VA – April 29, 2019 – 
Every job created in the U.S. consumer technology sector supports almost three non-tech jobs throughout the rest of the American economy – an employment multiplier of 3.59 – according to a new report released by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

The report, U.S. Economic Contribution of the Consumer Technology Sector , says the consumer tech sector directly and indirectly supports 18.2 million American jobs, provides $1.3 trillion in annual wages, contributes $503 billion in annual taxes and adds $2.3 trillion to the nation’s economy – representing almost 12% of U.S. GDP. The consumer technology sector’s indirect economic impact accounts for companies buying goods and services from other U.S. industries, which drives economic activity in those sectors and their supply chains.

“Even accounting for the booming growth the U.S. economy enjoyed before 2016 – when we released our previous economic study – our industry is still delivering 19% jobs impact growth and 22% growth in overall economic impact since then,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “That’s proof the U.S. tech sector is an essential driver of our nation’s economy. And the effects go beyond just the products our industry sells – we drive productivity for virtually every sector of the economy.”

In 2017, consumer technology content and services, manufacturing and distribution directly and indirectly supported at least 100,000 jobs in 34 states and nine congressional districts. California alone had over three million jobs directly and indirectly attributable to consumer tech; and Texas, Florida and New York each had over one million jobs attributable to consumer tech, many of which derive from consumer tech exports. California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Colorado and Georgia have the largest shares of their economies supported by the consumer tech sector.

Other key findings from the report include:
  • Overall, the consumer tech sector directly employed 5.1 million workers and supported an additional 13.1 million jobs, accounting for 9.3% of the U.S. workforce in 2017.
  • For workers directly employed in the consumer tech sector, compensation was some $111,000 per worker on average, 82% higher than that of the overall economy.
  • Tech exports of goods and services supported $302 billion in direct and indirect economic activity, with 1.2 million U.S. jobs reliant on consumer tech exports.
  • The top export markets for U.S. consumer technology goods are Mexico, Canada, Hong Kong, China and the Netherlands.
  • Every $1 of economic activity in tech drives another $1.03 elsewhere in the economy.
“The growth of the tech industry is emblematic of the growth of our nation's economy – every company today is, or needs to be a tech company,” said Shapiro. “Technology is embedded in so many industries, from sports and entertainment to health care and agriculture to building resilience in the face of natural disasters. And in the next five years, 5G adoption, artificial intelligence and quantum computing will provide an era of new technology – one that will raise demand for tech-related goods and services and offer new economic opportunities for Americans.”

CTA's U.S. Economic Contribution of the Consumer Technology Sector was prepared for CTA by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP using the IMPLAN input/output model of economic relationships for 2017 to analyze and quantify relationships between the 29 sectors that compose the technology industry. The report is available at cta.tech/economicimpact.

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