08 June 2000

According to a study by the University of Texas (for Cisco Systems), the new e-conomy continues to grow at a faster rate than the 18th century industrial revolution, outpacing that earlier boom both in terms of jobs and revenues created.

Say the report’s authors: "Starting around 1994, the internet economy has grown much faster than the industrial revolution ... perhaps more importantly, the potential scope, size and overall economic impact of this economic system is much larger that what we can comprehend today. The internet economy phenomenon is far from over."

The US internet economy – defined by the study as any company that generates revenue from the internet – grew by 62% to $523.9bn last year; and this year is forecast to hit $850bn. This will outstrip both the automobile/truck industry ($728bn) and the life insurance sector ($724bn).

Total internet revenues grew at nearly triple the rate of the US economy as a whole. Growth in 1999 was 11% up on 1998, compared with around 4.2% for aggregated US gross domestic product. Of the internet economy as a whole, the fastest growing segment was e-commerce, with revenues soaring by 72% to $171bn.

Jobs depending directly on the internet rose by 36% in 1999 to about 2.5m (1.8m in 1998). The sector now employs more people than the communications and public utilities industries (2.4m jobs), the federal government excluding postal workers (1.8m), and the insurance industry (2.4m).

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compiles detailed data on occupations, does not have an internet category!

News source: Financial Times