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Online businesses contribute trillions to US economy

(Image credit: Image Credit: Atm2003 / Shutterstock)

In a time when technology companies are under constant attack for alleged unscrupulous behaviour in terms of data management and monopoly abuse, a group that represents most of the major firms released figures showing how much the sector contributes to the US economy.

The Internet Association, which is comprised of Amazon, Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter, Uber and many others, said that last year, the internet sector contributed to the US economy with $2.1 trillion, accounting for roughly 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

Four years ago, the Internet Association claimed the sector brought in six per cent of the total GDP.

In its report, the group argues that digital businesses are now the fourth largest sector of the country’s economy, behind real estate, government and manufacturing. Last year, manufacturing raked in $2.3 trillion in US GDP, so it’s safe to assume that it could be overrun by internet companies sooner rather than later.

It was also said that almost six million people work in the industry, a total of four per cent of the entire US workforce, and it supports another 13 million jobs. US companies spent $64 billion in capital expenditures last year.

The Internet Association study used information provided by Census, BEA, and SEC government data from 2018 to estimate the earnings. Chief economist Christopher Hooton said the internet industry is “creating jobs in every sector of the economy”.