Size of the Worldwide Mobile Workforce

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Size of the Worldwide Mobile Workforce

Looking at the size of the worldwide mobile workforce, and how they are currently being served, there’s a big market opportunity for mobile developers.
Looking at the size of the worldwide mobile workforce, and how they are currently being served, there’s a big market opportunity for mobile developers.

What is the size of the worldwide mobile workforce? What percent of all employees worldwide use mobile technologies? Which industries use mobile the most? These are the kinds of questions mobile app developers and enterprises building mobile apps need to know if they’re going to succeed in the mobile economy. And now, there are up-to-date answers, from VDC Research’s 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research.

Source: VDC Research 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research
Size of the Worldwide Mobile Workforce (Source: VDC Research 2017 Enterprise Mobility & Connected Devices Research)

The numbers are staggering: The report says the worldwide mobile work population was more than 1.76 billion in 2016, accounting for more than 59% of total global employment. VDC defines mobile workers “as someone who spends the majority of their day performing tasks and responsibilities in some type of mobile capacity.” That includes “specialized line of business workers such as sales reps, field workers/technicians, delivery drivers, registered nurses, and even telecommuters.” They don’t all necessarily carry mobile devices, although the report notes that “both rugged and consumer grade devices have become increasingly popular as a way for these workers to streamline responsibilities and improve their workflows and productivity.”

The five industries with the largest mobile working populations are Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, & Hunting, Wholesale/Retail, Manufacturing, Construction, and Mining, Quarrying, Oil & Gas, the report found. The region with the largest mobile population in the world is APAC, with 1.02 billion of them, some 58% of the total mobile worker population.

North America has the fewest mobile workers, with 83 million, which accounts for only 5% of the total mobile population. The five industries with the largest mobile worker population in the United States is Healthcare & Social Assistance, Professional & Business services, Leisure & Hospitality, Manufacturing, and Retail trade.

What’s important to keep in mind about these figures is that VDC defines mobile workers very broadly — they don’t need to use mobile devices in order to be considered mobile. That’s why there are so many mobile workers in emerging markets. The majority of mobile workers in those markets are in small, mom-and-pop businesses and don’t carry mobile devices for their work.

One of the more intriguing statistics concerns the installed base of workers who use line-of-business application. Only 8.3% of the mobile workforce uses them, the report says. Based on those figures, the report concludes, “There remains significant opportunity to further digitalize and transform business operations through mobility.” In other words, there’s a big market opportunity for mobile developers.

In other words, there’s a big market opportunity for mobile developers.

Alpha Anywhere is an ideal solution for developers looking to quickly and inexpensively build line-of-business mobile applications. It’s  a complete business application development and deployment environment that enables users to quickly become proficient in creating mobile business forms and applications that run across all devices. It’s also the ideal tool for field workers who use maintenance and inspection apps.

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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