Connecting the Dots

Software: Growing US Jobs and the GDP

Software: Growing US Jobs and the GDP report
In every state in America, software has been a catalyst for economic growth, creating jobs, improving lives, and presenting new solutions to old challenges. Software has transformed every aspect of our lives, including the way we work. From software developers and web developers to project coordinators, administrative assistants, and accountants, millions of today’s jobs are created or transformed by software.

Today, the BSA Foundation released a new report that illustrates the scope of the software industry’s impact on the economy, following up on our previous report released two years ago. The results reveal not only the outsized impact the software industry has on the overall US economy and in all 50 states but also the meteoric growth of the software industry over the past two years. Here are just a few key findings:

  • Software supports one in every 10 jobs in the United States. The software industry supports 14.4 million total US jobs across every economic sector, and the software industry directly employs 3.1 million people.
  • Software’s impact on jobs grew twice as fast as the overall economy. Jobs supported by the software industry increased 7.3 percent from 2016 to 2018. By contrast, US jobs grew by 3 percent over the same period.
  • The software industry grew strongly outside traditional tech hubs. Nevada, South Dakota, and Wyoming were among the states where jobs grew fastest, with each state seeing increases over 30 percent. Another 11 states saw job growth of greater than 20 percent.
  • The software industry contributed $1.6 trillion to the total US value-added GDP in 2018. The industry has expanded by 19 percent since 2016, nearly two times faster than the overall economy.
  • The software industry invested $82.7 billion in research and development – more than 22 percent of all domestic business R&D in the United States.

This growth isn’t limited to the tech sector. From agriculture to insurance, healthcare to advertising, manufacturing to finance, software enables solutions in every industry. I encourage you to explore our new report and learn more about the expanding opportunities in your state.

To read the full report, visit

Recent Posts

Chris HopfenspergerChris Hopfensperger
Executive Director,

As the founding executive director of, Chris Hopfensperger leads the foundation’s efforts to help policymakers and the general public better understand the impact that software has on our lives, our economy, and our society. He also helps translate the foundation’s philanthropic and forward-looking agenda into efforts to address key issues facing the software industry.

More about Chris Hopfensperger


Subscribe to receive updates about our latest news and research.