App Development Creates 64,000 Canadian Jobs, Generates $1.7B in Revenue

There are 18 million app users in Canada, while this number rises to 2 billion on a global scale, an independent study published by the Information and Communications Technology Council reads.

The study, entitled “The Appification of Everything: Canada’s Apps Economy Value Chain,” offers a cross-section view of the country’s apps market. The rapid adoption of mobile apps has created economic opportunities in all sectors of the Canadian economy, such as employment creation, efficiency gain, revenue generation, etc.

Also, it is worth noting that the number of Canadian cellphone subscribers is projected to surpass 28 million in 2014, but as you may recall more than 70% of all postpaid subscribers are using a smartphone. The growing smartphone usage also triggers a huge appetite for mobile apps. There are about 3 million apps available in the app storefronts, with 1.1 million of them being iOS apps.

Those 18 million Canadians who download apps contribute to a growing Canadian application economy. To put that into numbers: About 64,000 jobs have been created in Canada and, of those, 45,800 are employed in enterprises specializing in app development, the ICTC has learned. And, in terms of revenue, Canada’s app enterprises currently generate about $1.7 billion in annual revenue. But this is just the beginning. By 2017, this number is expected to reach $3.3 billion – and $5.2 billion in 2019.

An interesting highlight of the study: Ontario seems to retain “Canada’s app development hub” title, as currently there are 28,700 apps-economy-related jobs there, but Quebec is following it closely with 14,000 jobs.

ICTC infographic

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  • BrettThePark

    These numbers seem off. As an mobile developer in Saskatchewan, I would estimate the total number of jobs for mobile developers is 100-250, not anywhere close to 1,000. With four responder’s to the survey from Sask, I think their margin of error is way off. Anyone have thoughts on this?

  • S. Faisal

    There are many app developers who do it on the side, even high school students. In these estimates, jobs in companies that develop apps are included, and so are jobs in companies that have their own apps development team in place. For instance, a company such as TV channel Sportsnet has its own apps development team in-house. As a result, many of these may not be visible from the outside. In addition, we also consider jobs that have been induced by apps. Combining all these pockets of apps economy, we are confident of our estimates.

  • BrettThePark

    For sure. There are many on the side developers, and companies that do their own apps, and non-direct jobs, but as a person who tries to active in the mobile development community in the province, I still don’t think the numbers make sense. Saskatchewan in not Ontario, or even Alberta for that matter. With a total response from 4 survey members, I find it hard to believe that the number bears statistical relevancy. On the other hand, I would love to be proven wrong.

  • S. Faisal

    Of course our consultation with apps enterprises was valuable to get a sense of many granular aspects of the apps economy. But the most vital basis of our employment level estimates comes from the latest available Labour Force Survey data by Statistics Canada and tracking of apps related vacancies across all sectors and provinces. Triangulation of various sources helps cross-validate findings.