Dear 115th Congress,
Congratulations on your election to office – we look forward to working with you. Job creation will undoubtedly be a top priority on your list in the coming year, and it’s a top priority for our industry. As our recent economic impact report shows (done in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit) the software industry contributes more than $1 trillion to the US GDP, nearly 10 million jobs, and $52 billion in R&D, with significant effects in each of the 50 states. As you begin your work, we’d like to draw your attention to software industry priorities that directly impact jobs in the US.
It’s predicted that by 2020, the number of new computing jobs in the US will rise to 1.4 million, but we’ll have just 400,000 computer science students with the skills to apply for them. Congress can and must make investments in STEM education. With the proper training, thousands more Americans will be prepared to take those great-paying jobs.
To help increase jobs in the US, Congress can maintain a firm stance on international data policy. Companies of all sizes across all industries rely on the ability to transfer data around the world to provide essential services. Recently, other governments have pushed to keep data within the confines of their borders. This would have serious effects on the ability of businesses in the US to offer services abroad, and thus threaten American jobs. Congress can help businesses in all 50 states grow by supporting a strong data policy agenda.
The software industry also hopes to see Congress work on polices to properly protect intellectual property. These policies will in turn foster jobs because they encourage the research and development that drives innovation. Patent reform can reduce frivolous litigation and free up resources for greater investment. Congress should look to enable the jobs of the future as software continues to develop a range of cutting-edge technologies that greatly improve lives and help solve intractable problems.
Software is and will continue to be a major driver of jobs in the US. We stand ready to support you in improving the lives of our citizens and the economic future of our country.
The Software Industry c/o BSA | The Software Alliance