Earlier today, Tyler Cowen had a post titled "Why are there so few computer science majors?", which was prompted by this Dan Wang post on the subject. Among other things, Tyler wonders if there are relatively few computer science majors simply because the tech sector is actually pretty small. Since I was already working with economic data today for another project, I thought it was worth taking a quick look to find out just how big the tech sector really is.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis released a first revision of GDP numbers for the third quarter today, with growth coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.9 percent. If the number holds, it and the second quarter will mark the strongest consecutive quarters of growth since 2003. Also out today, Alan Blinder of Princeton University has a piece in the Wall Street Journal, where he argues that not enough attention is being paid to the “dismal” productivity growth occurring the last four years—in part because of the difficulty in forecasting this measure. Given today’s data release, the Blinder op-ed, the technology and employment debate, a growing discussion about a world of persistently slow growth, and some chatter today on Twitter, I became curious about what role ICTs might be playing in the shorter-term—in the economic recovery of the last few years to be more precise.