Anyone who doesn’t believe Michigan is experiencing a boom in its app industry needs only to look at the statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Half a decade ago in 2010 there were 9,880 app developers working in Michigan. In less than five years that number has grown by more than 50 percent. According to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth, between 2010 and 2020 the state’s app developers will grow their numbers 23.5 percent – a far better percentage than the state’s average 8.5 percent job growth rate for the same period. Michigan’s average annual app developer salary is also competitive, calculated in 2014 by the BLS to be $81,680.
App development is also an industry that is encouraged by state and business leaders. Michigan recognizes that the success of its app development companies has a knock-on economic impact. In fact, the wireless industry trade group CTIA estimated in 2012 that Michigan’s app industry generates around $1 million every day.
Development of Michigan’s App Industry
Michigan’s app industry is built on the work of creative companies and individuals. These professionals have taken advantage of the recent developments Michigan has made to its wireless networks in terms of areas coverage and speed, without which the state’s boom in mobile wireless devices like smartphones would not have been possible.
According to reports released by the FCC, just a few years back in 2009 there were only 2.7 million residential internet connections, and the area of coverage of Michigan’s wireless networks was not what it is today. Now wireless networks cover most parts of the state, with the majority of residents on the Lower Peninsula having their choice of at least 3-4 network providers, and most residents of the Upper Peninsula having a choice of at least 2 network providers. In fact, up to 60 percent of Michigan’s rural residents have access to internet speeds of at least 25 Mbps, while 83.05 percent of all the state’s residents have access to internet speeds of at least 50 Mbps.
These developments have laid the groundwork for the FCC’s estimate that there are more than 5.33 million mobile wireless devices – including smartphones – in circulation throughout the state.