The digital economy accounted for 7% of the U.S. GDP, or $1.35 trillion, in 2017, according to a new batch of statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. How does that compare with traditional U.S. industries? The digital economy ranked just below professional, scientific, and technical services, which accounted for 7.4 percent of GDP, and just above wholesale trade, with a 6.0 percent share. The digital economy is a key component of our economic system and never seems to get the credit the sector deserves as a job contributor and economic stalwart for salary and wages amount minorities and women.

Our research shows an expanding workforce in the digital economy, with growing job opportunities and an unsatiated demand cycle in this new decade. The digital economy supported 5 million jobs a few years back in 2017, which accounted for 3 percent of the 152 million jobs available. The digital economy’s share of total employment is about same as the transportation and warehousing industry’s share. Employees working in the digital economy earned $132,223 in average annual compensation in 2017, nearly 2x larger than the average worker making $68,506 which is the average salary in the U.S.

These statistics show a vibrant industry, which creates high paying jobs and ranks with other professional industry jobs. It is becoming a larger part of our economy as we enter a new decade, and college study is expanding class size, and options for students while hiring higher profile professors to their universities. It is a growing sector of the economy, and more millennial students are transitioning from amateur filmmakers with their cell phones to sophisticated technologists who capture a new medium of expression, we are in a unique time in our history.

2020 projections for the entertainment industry growth are staggering, and this is in line with America’s major export (article here) of the commodity we call entertainment, it is in high demand all over the world, in any form it can be consumed, whether it be on a handheld device, or in a movie theater.

We see this trend continuing as we head into this new decade as the consumer discovers and an endless stream of options for news and entertainment. Keep in mind these jobs do not show prejudice in the core of this job market, men, women, black or white, Hispanic or Asian are all contributing to the skill sets needed in the entertainment industry. I am not talking about the high paid actors, but the cameramen the sound people, the assistant producers, and directors.

The millennial, the gen-x, the writers, the editors, the boom operators, and the scriptwriters, bring us your tired, your hungry, your young, or your old, they all contribute to the digital economy as it contributes to our overall GDP.