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New Report Highlights Utah’s Leadership in the $950 Billion App Economy

Washington, D.C.—Utah app developers and tech companies are key drivers of a thriving $950 billion app economy, according to a new report by ACT | The App Association.

The annual State of the App Economy report looks at 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.

Contrary to the belief that Silicon Valley leads the app economy, the report finds that Utah contributes more than 50,530 app developers, computer programmers, engineers, and teachers to the 4.7 million-American-strong computing workforce. On average, Utah’s app economy jobs pay salaries upwards of $83,698, well above the state’s annual average.

The forward-looking report predicts the app economy will add more than 440,000 new jobs to the U.S. workforce over the next six years, with Utah’s app economy workforce poised to grow 24.82 percent by 2024.

In addition to highlighting more than one hundred innovators in Utah and across the country driving the app economy, the report identifies three key issues that could challenge America’s leadership role in the future.

  • Growing employment gap: For every eight available computing jobs, the U.S. produces just one computer science graduate.
    • Last year, Utah awarded 2,315 computer science degrees – a little more than half of what’s needed to fill the state’s 4,257 available computing jobs.
    • Increased funding for apprenticeship programs and computer science education could address this growing issue.
  • Lack of broadband connectivity: Today, a startling 34 million Americans cannot engage with the app economy because they lack access to broadband.
    • More than 3.5 percent of Utah’s population, and more than a quarter of the rural population, lacks broadband connectivity, cutting off potential contributors and beneficiaries from the local app economy.
    • Deployment of 5G infrastructure and technologies like television white spaces could connect Americans and add $200 billion to the economy.
  • Expensive security challenges: Protecting user data is vital, but cybercrime costs consumers $3 trillion worldwide.
    • A lack of security protocols and shortage of 285,000 cybersecurity professionals nationwide threaten the U.S. app economy’s potential.
    • Developers are increasingly building end-to-end encryption, one of the strongest methods to secure data, to secure their users and their future in the app economy.

To read the full report, and the impact of the app economy in Utah, please click here.