Technology Investment Creates Jobs, Prosperity
Technology investment nurtures innovation and creates economic prosperity. This statement has been proved time and time again. In competition with the Soviet Union’s space program, the U.S. invested heavily in science, engineering, aerospace, and technology, and they pay off was strong innovation, huge job creation, and the birth of new industries in which the U.S. was the clear leader for decades. Today high tech products are the U.S.’s largest overseas export, making up 17.8 percent of all U.S. exports and supporting more than 900,000 U.S. jobs. Most nations are doubling down on their technology and innovation strategies and investment in an effort to win in the telecommunications, energy, and IT industries; securing dominance in key industries of tomorrow will grow jobs and prosperity for the winners.
Investment means allocating funds but it also means creating and acquiring talent. The U.S. has fallen behind in domestic Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education – while 33% of the workforce requires these talents, Americans obtaining degrees in these fields falls below the mark. Foreign-born innovators and entrepreneurs have been instrumental in many of the cutting edge firms and technologies that have brought prosperity throughout the history of the U.S. A Kauffman Foundation study found that 25% of science and technology start-ups founded between 1995 and 2005 had either a foreign-born chief executive or lead technologist. In 2005, these firms produced $52 billion in revenue with 450,000 employees. Opening immigration to highly skilled and educated will feed and grow innovation and jobs here in the U.S.
Technology innovation leads to national economic prosperity. According to a study by Christine Qiang of 120 nations between 1980 and 2006 estimated that for each 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration, a high income country’s gross domestic product goes up by 1.3 percent. According to TechAmerica’s Phillip J. Bond, president and CEO, on the average each tech job supports three jobs in other sectors of the economy and the multiplier effect is 5-to-1 for information technology jobs. Information technology accounts for more than a third of U.S. gross domestic product growth and nearly two-thirds of corporate capital investment. Currently there are 375,000 information technology businesses in the U.S. employing over 5.9 million people; by 2018 IT jobs are projected to grow by 22 percent.
Recommended reading from Redfish Technology:
Technology and the Innovation Economy by Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director, Governance Studies at the The Brookings Institution