Google’s services and data centers have generated substantial economic gains in multiple regions around the world.
Google products -- often available for no cost -- are utilized across the globe by consumers, content creators, developers and businesses of all sizes. Tools such as Google Search, AdWords, AdSense, YouTube and Android all contribute to economic activity by allowing users to connect with others, enter new marketplaces and more.
In one study of Google’s impact in Argentina, Deloitte defined economic impact as the contribution that businesses and content creators using Google’s Search, advertising tools, and productivity tools made to the economic output, measured in terms of value added and jobs sustained. In Argentina, for example, businesses using Google Search and AdWords generated between ARS$ 5,000 and ARS$ 18,000 million in economic activity in 2015, supporting an estimated 20,000 to 70,000 jobs across all sectors of the country’s economy (Deloitte 2015). In Australia, native businesses generated $15.1 billion using Google platforms and assisted 840,000 enterprises in connecting with consumers (AlphaBeta 2016).
Android has been the backbone of the growing usage of smartphone services in several countries, and the development of consumer and business smartphone apps has become an increasingly important part of the smartphone ecosystem -- in the UK, approximately 8,000 companies are directly involved in app development and approximately 380,000 jobs are centered on the app economy. Across Europe, 439,000 jobs are directly associated with Android app development (Deloitte 2014).
In other countries, content creators see benefits using YouTube, which allows them to reach a large global audience and build their brand with minimal costs and barriers to entry. Australian YouTube video creators earned around $60 million in advertising revenue in 2015 (AlphaBeta 2016). In Mexico, 79% of the population uses their phones to watch video content regularly, and small businesses are using YouTube as a free marketing tool (Deloitte 2015).
Additionally, Google's data centers provide a major source of employment. For instance, at its peak, Google’s data center in Finland employed 1800 engineering and construction workers, 230 employees in operations and maintenance, and generated millions of Euros in wages (Oxford Research 2014). Its Belgian data center is responsible for creating 1,500 full-time jobs per year on average, where the vast majority of operation jobs are performed by medium-skill qualified staff with upper secondary education (Copenhagen Economics 2015).
Indeed, Google’s investments into its data centers have stimulated economic activity and employment in the industries of retail trade, transport, accommodation, catering, housing and finance. This is the result of training provided and skills developed along Google’s supply chain, as well as new knowledge brought to the country, fostering growth in efficiency of local suppliers (Copenhagen Economics 2015).