Placeholder Banner

IP Creates Jobs for America

May 29, 2012
By Mark Elliot, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center

In May, the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) was proud to unveil the results of our state intellectual property (IP) jobs research, which has been a year in the making. The study, IP Creates Jobs for America, provides real, tangible evidence that the economic benefits of IP are broad and far-reaching.

In looking at a variety of government data on intellectual property and its economic effects in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, we found that IP-intensive industries are directly and indirectly responsible for over 55 million American jobs.


While 50% of total U.S. private sector employment is a massive chunk of jobs, it may be unsurprising if you take into account the different types of industries that rely on the protection and enforcement of their copyrights, patents, and trademarks. In fact, we interact with these companies every day, whether we realize it or not: consumer products, technology, pharmaceuticals, entertainment, sports, aerospace, the list goes on…

What’s so unique about the GIPC’s study is that it is the first-of-its-kind to drill down these IP employment numbers to the state level. And there are no shortages of surprises. For instance, the highest proportion of IP jobs is not exactly where you may think they may be. In fact, Indiana (61.3%), Wisconsin (60%), and Ohio (56.9%) lead the pack of IP-jobs as a share of private sector employment.

Not only is intellectual property providing jobs, but it’s responsible for high-paying ones at that. According to our research, Americans working in these industries earn 30% higher wages than the national average.

While jobs are what seems to resonate today, we don’t have to tell you that IP’s local and national benefits reach far beyond employment. These innovative industries also account for $5.8 trillion, or 38%, of the United States’ total gross domestic product.

And if we were to dive into looking at innovative states through their promotion of research and development, then you’ll see a much different picture, with California ($67.5B), New Jersey ($19B), and Texas ($16.1B) coming out on top.

Not to mention that 74% of U.S. exports, totally $1 trillion, stem from intellectual property especially from the likes of Delaware (89.1%), Wyoming (88.5%), and Kentucky (87%).

No matter which corner of the U.S. you visit, the positive effects of IP and the industries that rely on it is astounding. We must make concerted efforts to ensure that intellectual property rights that afford us anything from jobs, exports, and high wages to safe medicines, new technologies, and groundbreaking entertainment are adequately and properly enforced, both here and abroad.