2.4. Value added and jobs

Measuring the value added generated by information industries only provides a partial view of their weight in each economy. In addition to final products, the output from domestic information industries is embodied via intermediate products in a wide range of goods and services meeting final demand (business capital investment, and household and government consumption), both domestically and abroad. Similarly, the output from other industries is embodied in many information products through domestic interconnections and participation in global value chains (GVCs); the glass in a smartphone screen is one example. Global demand for information industries’ goods and services through international trade and investment can drive the activities of many other upstream domestic industries. Combining the value added generated by domestic information industries with the value added of other domestic industries embodied in global demand for information sector products constitutes a first step towards defining an “extended information footprint” (OECD, 2017a).

In 2015, the United States, Japan and China together accounted for about 50% of the global extended information footprint, up from 47% in 2005, and the EU28 for a further 21%. Although the United States remains responsible for nearly 30% of the extended information footprint, its share declined alongside, Japan and the European Union, while China’s share increased from 3.4% to 14.4% over this period.

Neglecting the value added generated in other sectors of the economy to meet global demand for information final goods and services can result in under-estimation of the economic importance of these products. In the OECD, value added generated by non-ICT sectors accounts for, on average, about one- quarter of the extended information footprint, ranging from less than 20% in the United States to almost 30% in the European Union and 36% in China.

The importance of the extended information footprint can be further illustrated by considering information industries-related domestic value added as a share of GDP. East and Southeast Asian economies, for example, accounted for some of the highest shares of ICT-related value added, reaching 23% of GDP in Chinese Taipei and 18% in Singapore in 2015. Among OECD countries, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Sweden all had shares over 10%. In general, the main contribution comes from ICT service activities, as is the case in most other OECD countries, although in Korea the largest contribution stems from ICT manufacturing and in Ireland from content and media.

Greater integration in global value chains implies that foreign demand sustains an increasing share of domestic employment. In 2015, about a quarter of OECD jobs were sustained by demand from outside the OECD, up 2 percentage points compared to 2005. The role of foreign demand reached 50% or more in small open economies, especially those with strong specialisation in the information sector. However, comparatively low and decreasing rates of foreign demand underpinned domestic employment in Canada and the United States, reflecting higher domestic orientation and outsourcing.

Did You Know?

One out of four jobs in the information industries in OECD countries was sustained by consumers in foreign markets in 2015 – and as many as eight of ten jobs in Ireland and Luxembourg.


The extended information footprint within each country consists of the value added generated by domestic information industries and, the value added generated by other, upstream, domestic industries to produce intermediate goods and services to meet global demand for information industries’ final products.

Information industries-related value added is the corresponding measure in the domestic economy, presented as a share of total value added (GDP).

Employment in information industries sustained by foreign demand consists of the share of employment in these industries corresponding to the export share in value added.

Information industries includes ICT manufacturing and information services, i.e. ISIC Rev.4 Divisions 26 and 58 to 63. See page 2.1 for more detail.


Industry value added is generally available from national accounts statistics. However, tracking the country and industry origins of value added embodied in final goods and services requires the use of Trade in Value Added (TiVA) indicators, such as the “origin of value added in final demand”, based on the OECD Inter-Country Input-Output database. This provides estimates of inter-country, inter-industry flows of intermediate and final goods and services that allow for the development of indicators on countries’ participation in the global economy. The recent introduction of the ISIC Rev.4-based industry classification in the OECD ICIO database improved the measurement of extended information footprints via better identification of information services (such as telecommunications).

Job-related indicators rely on some broad assumptions. In particular, that within each industry labour productivity in exporting firms is the same as that in firms producing goods and services for domestic use only, and that all firms use the same share of imports for a given amount of output. However, exporting firms may have a higher level of labour productivity and use more imports in production. More effort is therefore required to account for firm heterogeneity within the ICIO framework to reduce potential biases.

Information industries’ extended domestic value added footprint, 2015
USD billions and world share, percent

Source: OECD, Inter-Country Input-Output (ICIO) Database, http://oe.cd/icio and Trade in Value Added (TiVA) Database, http://oe.cd/tiva, December 2018. StatLink contains more data.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933929205

Information industry-related domestic value added, 2015
As a percentage of total value added

Source: OECD, Inter-Country Input-Output (ICIO) Database, http://oe.cd/icio and Trade in Value Added (TiVA) Database, http://oe.cd/tiva, December 2018. See 1. StatLink contains more data.

1. The value added of domestic ICT industries is embodied in a wide range of final goods and services meeting final demand both at home and abroad. Similarly, domestic value added (DVA) from other industries (“non-ICT”) can be embodied in final ICT goods and services consumed globally.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933929224

Jobs in information industries sustained by foreign final demand, 2015
As a percentage of jobs in information industries

Source: OECD, Trade in Employment Database, http://oe.cd/io-emp, December 2018. See 1. StatLink contains more data.

1. The OECD estimate is an unweighted average.

The EU28 estimate is a weighted average, and includes intra-EU trade.

 StatLink https://doi.org/10.1787/888933929243

End of the section – Back to iLibrary publication page