In a new report from the Entertainment Software Association and Economists Inc., the video game industry is more impactful on the American economy than the economy itself.
Titled Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2014 Report, it notes that annual compensation for gaming industry employees is around $95,000 and has been growing four times faster than the U.S. economy. What that boils down to is that the gaming industry has more than 9% in real compound annual growth than the U.S. economy, as records indicated from 2009 to 2012.
Annual job growth for the video game industry has increased a whopping 13 times the rate of the U.S. labor market, according to the ESA’s report. ESA also said that the game industry employs approximately 146,000 people, “directly and indirectly.” Across 36 states, the U.S. video game industry has employed more than 42,000 people as of 2012. That figure is up over 30% since the 2009 report.
Total direct compensation for all workers combined amounted to more than $4 billion. The ESA’s report attempts to chronicle the video game industry’s effect on state economies across the U.S. California ranks highest in terms of the number of personnel directly employed since that state is a central hub for game developers and events. Other incentives offered in 21 other states threaten California’s “robust incentives”; Texas has nearly 50% growth since 2009, thanks to a digital production tax credit.
“Our industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors and represents tens of thousands of high-paying, well-educated professionals, artists, and creators,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA.