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What new industry is employing half a million people in Japan?
Thursday, February 26, 2015
We all love apps, but what do they really do for Japan other than brighten our long train commutes? To get a clearer picture, we asked Nomura Research Institute to look into how the Internet in Japan, and especially the mobile Internet, has changed the world’s third largest economy over the past five years.
, released today in Tokyo, Nomura found that the ‘App Economy’ — basically, the economic activity of businesses built on apps for smartphones — has been almost doubling (90%) in size every year since 2011. It contributed 8.2 billion USD to Japan’s GDP in 2014, and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon.
More impressive for an industry that didn’t exist a decade ago, is that the App Economy has already created, directly or indirectly, more than half a million new jobs for people in Japan. For the sake of comparison, that's about a third as many people with jobs in this new sector as there are people in Japan working in agriculture and forestry (
Dec 2014 stats
). And that doesn’t even include those working to expand existing e-commerce businesses onto mobile.
While these are all promising figures, it’s not time to celebrate yet. We have a lot of hard work ahead of us in Japan to create the right environment for the App Economy to take off as much as it has in some other parts of the world. But it is good to know that we’re on the right track.
So the next time you’re on the train, passing the time with your new favorite app, take a minute to look around. The person sitting next to you may just be one of these half a million people in Japan with a great new job.
Posted by Marie Onga, Public Policy Analyst, Google Japan
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