The most recent numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that as of 2014 there were 1,760 app developers working throughout the state, an increase of 290 jobs since 2010. Going forward, the Idaho Labor Market Information Office estimates that between 2012 and 2022 app developer jobs will grow by 22 percent statewide, totaling 2,120 positions by that time. This surpasses the state’s average job growth rate that is still an impressive 16 percent for that same period of time.
Idaho law makers and business leaders recognize the importance of fostering the state’s app industry, and support developments that make the state a more comfortable environment for app companies and their developers. CTIA The Wireless Association reported in a 2012 study that Idaho’s app industry had an economic impact statewide of $32 million.
Idaho’s app industry can continue to grow thanks to ongoing improvements made to the wireless networks whose coverage now encompasses most areas of the populated areas of the state.
Idaho’s Wireless Infrastructure
The boom of mobile devices and the apps they use is largely due to Idaho’s development of its wireless infrastructure. According to a 2015 report released by the FCC, today virtually all of Idaho’s areas of concentrated populations have access to at least four different wireless providers. Up to 40 percent of Idaho’s rural population has access to broadband internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps, with a full 73.2 percent of all state residents having access to a broadband connection. These figures stand in contrast with connectivity statistics issued by the FCC just a few years ago that showed in 2009 Idaho had just 426,000 residential internet connections. By the beginning of 2014 that number had more than doubled to 1.14 million residential connections.
In light of the established wireless infrastructure across Idaho, the FCC recently released an estimate that there are more than 876,000 smartphone and other mobile wireless devices in circulation throughout the state – about one device for every two people. As smartphone and other mobile device sales continue to increase, there will undoubtedly be a continued demand throughout Idaho for smart, relevant, and useful apps.