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ESA: Game Industry Growth Outpacing U.S. Economy

According to a new Entertainment Software Association, the growth of the U.S. video game industry is outpacing the growth of the U.S. economy by a wide percentage, at 17% versus 4% from 2003-2006, also revealing 80,000 U.S. game industry employees and $3.
According to statistics released by the Entertainment Software Association, the growth of the U.S. video game industry is outpacing the growth of the U.S. economy by a wide percentage, growing at 17% from 2003-2006 as compared to the 4% economic growth during the same period. The ESA has concluded an extensive study on this data, entitled Video Games in the 21st Century. Conducted by Economists Incorporated, the study also finds that the industry directly employed 24,000 in the U.S. at an average salary $92,300 during 2006. The ESA states that the video game industry contributed $3.8 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product in 2006. Though 24,000 are directly employed, according to the report in total 80,000 are employed directly and indirectly by the industry in 31 states and U.S.-based game industry employees received a total of $2.2 billion in compensation. Predictably, California is the largest employer in the video game industry, accounting for around 40% of the nation's industry jobs. California industry growth was 12.3% last year, which the ESA claims is "nearly three times faster" than the state's overall growth. The report also states that the Californian game industry "exceeded its share of GDP by more than four to one" in 2003-2004 and 2005-2006. California's game industry contributions enriched its economy by $1.7 billion in 2006. Also cited are statistics for other states: Virginia's industry growth was 552% in 2006, Washington is the second ranked state in terms of industry jobs, with 9,284 direct and indirect employees, and New York's companies directly and indirectly employ 4,415. "Computer and video game companies play an ever increasing role in our nation's growing economy," said Michael Gallagher, CEO of the ESA. "These companies and their colleagues across the nation are making entertainment software one of the fastest growing industries in the United States."

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