Unemployment. Is there an app for that? The unemployment rate in the Eurozone is currently hovering at around 10%. The overall rate of unemploylent across the EU-28 is lower (8.5% in September 2016), but that number hides the fact that unemployment is distributed unevenly across the continent (and across the age gap, with youth unemployment over 12%).
Could the new digital economy be part of the solution? Particularly (but not just) the mobile app economy? The app economy includes all economic activity surrounding mobile applications, including the sale of apps, ad revenue, public relations, and the devices on which apps run. This could include technical roles such as app developers, designers and programmers. But it can also include the sort of non-technical jobs needed to run a tech startup, such as marketing, management, and human resources.
In January 2016, the European app economy included 1.64 million jobs. That represents roughly 0.7% of all jobs in Europe – which is significant, but it means there is still room for growth. In the US, for example, app economy jobs make up 1.2% of all jobs.
We had a comment from Larry, who pointed out that “not long ago there was no demand for gadgets, apps, games etc. – now there is an entire industry out there hiring millions.”
The app economy is catering for a market that didn’t exist 20 years ago, creating entirely new types of job, requiring new skillsets and technologies. So, could this be a source of growth for the general economy? Will the rise of the app economy help cut overall unemployment in Europe?
To get a response, we spoke to Lenard Koschwitz, Director of Public Affairs at Allied for Startups, a worldwide network of startup associations. What would he say to Larry?
We also had a comment from Chalks, who wondered what kind of jobs there will be in the new app economy. Is it all about young go-getters? Or will there also be jobs for older workers, who are less comfortable with new technology? What would Lenard Koschwitz say?
Will the growth of the app economy help cut unemployment in Europe? What kind of jobs will the app economy create? On Monday 14th November, Debating Europe is co-hosting an event in Brussels with Google on mobile innovation, and we’ll be taking your questions to participants about the app economy. So, let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!