Soft­ware sec­tor boosts EU GDP by €1tn

New study finds the in­dus­try also sup­ports 12.7 mil­lion jobs across bloc

The Irish Times - Business - - TECHNOLOGY - CHAR­LIE TAY­LOR

The soft­ware sec­tor sup­ports 12.7 mil­lion jobs across the Euro­pean Union and con­trib­utes as much as €1 tril­lion to EU GDP, ac­cord­ing to new fig­ures.

The sta­tis­tics, which were com­piled by the Econ­o­mist In­tel­li­gence Unit for the re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion Soft­, show the eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion from the sec­tor rose by 9.9 per cent from 2014 to 2016. This com­pares to over­all EU GDP growth of 6.0 per cent over the same pe­riod.

The soft­ware in­dus­try di­rectly con­trib­uted €304 bil­lion to the EU econ­omy in 2016, rep­re­sent­ing 2 per cent of to­tal value-added GDP – up 22.4 per cent from €249 bil­lion in 2014.

In ad­di­tion, the sec­tor em­ployed 3.6 mil­lion peo­ple and paid €162.1 bil­lion in wages, up 16.4 per cent ver­sus the €139.2 bil­lion paid to em­ploy­ees and con­trac­tors in 2014.

In­di­rectly, the in­dus­try con­trib­uted a fur­ther €221 bil­lion to EU GDP and sup­ported an ad­di­tional 2.6 mil­lion jobs.

Ac­cord­ing to the fig­ures, the United King­dom, France, and Ger­many re­main the largest soft­ware mar­kets in the EU, con­tribut­ing more than 60 per cent of to­tal EU di­rect soft­ware in­dus­try value-added GDP.

How­ever, the soft­ware sec­tor in coun­tries like Swe­den and Poland are also grow­ing at a phe­nom­e­nal rate. The Swedish soft­ware in­dus­try for ex­am­ple saw growth ris­ing by 43.9 per cent between 2014 and 2016.

Ire­land, which is the world’s se­cond largest soft­ware ex­porter, is home to over 900 soft­ware com­pa­nies, which com­bined em­ploy 24,000 peo­ple and gen­er­ate €16 bil­lion of ex­ports an­nu­ally. The re­port re­veals the av­er­age an­nual salary for work­ers in the EU soft­ware sec­tor is €45,307.

‘In­te­gral part’

“This study con­firms that soft­ware is an in­te­gral part of Europe’s eco­nomic present and fu­ture,” said Vic­to­ria Espinel, pres­i­dent of Soft­

“Its pos­i­tive im­pact on the Euro­pean econ­omy is big and grow­ing. Soft­ware isn’t just code – soft­ware is eu­ros and jobs.”

It isn’t just the EU that gets a big GDP boost from the soft­ware sec­tor. Soft­ also re­ports it con­trib­utes $1.14 tril­lion (€99.1 bil­lion) to the US econ­omy with all 50 states get­ting a fi­nan­cial boost.

Of th­ese, 35 states saw GDP growth of more than 20 per cent in 2016 on the back of ris­ing soft­ware sales.

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