The wireless industry, directly and indirectly, contributed $475 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product in 2016, according to a new wireless economic impact study conducted by Accenture for CTIA – The Wireless Association. That figure represented 2.6% of U.S. GDP for the year.
The wireless industry also supports 4.7 million U.S. jobs, including direct and indirect jobs, researchers said.
Wireless Economic Impact Study
In measuring the economic impact of the U.S. wireless industry, researchers looked at direct activity, which contributed 31% of the total, as well as induced and indirect activity, which comprised 25% and 44% of the total, respectively.
In looking at direct activity within the wireless industry, researchers considered sales of products and services. Induced activity included increased household spending on goods such as restaurants resulting from income earned from the wireless industry or industry suppliers. Indirect activity looked at the impact of adjacent industries such as semiconductor production for smartphones.
Findings were based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The wireless industry’s indirect economic impact is stronger than that of some other major industries, researchers found. They noted, for example, that each direct wireless industry job results in 7.7 total jobs throughout the economy. That 7.7 number is known as the employment multiplier effect. In comparison, the employment multiplier effects for hardware manufacturing and full-service restaurants are 3.9 and 1.5, respectively.
Industries that have seen the greatest indirect economic benefits from the wireless industry include real estate; semiconductor and related device manufacturing; and advertising, public relations and related services.
Moving forward, researchers see the wireless industry continuing to have a strong economic impact. “Smartphones will act as a gateway to other smart devices, thus creating a connected ecosystem involving smart homes and smart cars,” the report states. “This will continue to expand the connected devices market and create additional semiconductor demand. This is one salient example of how the wireless industry is contributing to the overall U.S. economy by driving demand in adjacent industries and shaping a truly robust ecosystem.”
A previous CTIA study conducted in 2016 measured the U.S. wireless industry’s economic impact at $282.1 billion for 2015.