The Astonishing Obama Tech Boom

By / 10.16.2012

Going into the next two debates, Barack Obama would certainly like a bit more of Bill Clinton’s mojo. After all, Clinton both won a second term and presided over the Internet-driven New Economy boom of the late 1990s, which created millions of jobs and eliminated the budget deficit. These are achievements that Obama would dearly love to duplicate.

Yet, Obama has been surprisingly unwilling to take credit for the most powerful economic success story on his watch: The astounding growth of the communications/internet sector, including smartphone makers, app developers, internet companies, and wireless providers.

Here are some figures:

• Over the past four years, the internet publishing, search and social media industry has been the top industry in job growth, with a 44% gain in domestic employment.

• Tech has beaten motor vehicles as a source of job growth. Since Obama took office in January 2009, the motor vehicles and parts industry created 94,000 jobs. By comparison, the key tech industries of software, online retailing, and internet publishing, search and social media have created 98,000 additional jobs since Obama’s inauguration. Custom computer programming–much of which involves the internet or mobile–accounts for another 91,000 new jobs over the same period.

• The so-called App Economy includes more than 500,000 jobs, up from none in 2007. These figures, based on an analysis of The Conference Board’s database of help-wanted ads, include the tech jobs that involve developing and maintaining mobile apps; the non-tech jobs that support app developers; and a conservative estimate of local spillover jobs.

• The real growth rate of gross domestic product is about a half percentage point higher than the official numbers show, once we take into account the enormous increase in data use by consumers.

Read the entire article at the Atlantic.

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