Software has an enormous impact on our lives, but the impact on employment is even greater than expected, according to research from Software.org: the BSA Foundation, an international alliance that advocates on behalf of the software industry. According to a 2017 study from Software.org: the BSA Foundation, the software industry directly employed 2.9 million people in the U.S.; but when including indirect and induced impacts, that number rose to 10.5 million jobs, according to the research. The study also shows that, since 2014, the number of jobs directly created by the software industry has increased 14.6 percent.
Software.org worked with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to compile publicly available data from IMPLAN, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and EIU itself. To estimate the total contributions of the software industry to the U.S. economy, the EIU analyzed the direct contributions and estimated indirect and induced impacts using various economic multipliers.
“What’s so interesting is how widespread the impact is. We expected states like California and Washington, but even states like Nebraska, Alabama and Utah showed a significant impact on their economies from software,” says Victoria Espinel, president and CEO of BSA. “This time, we also saw incredible growth in states like Kansas, Nebraska and Louisiana — sometimes growth of 30 percent, 35 percent.”
Here are the 10 states where software is having the greatest impact based on direct contribution to GDP, direct number of software jobs created and total number of software, software-related and software-adjacent jobs created.