By Daniel Hunter

A new study published by Vlerick Business School in Belgium and carried out on behalf of IAB Europe has revealed that Europe has the potential to generate an additional 1.5 million jobs in the EU through the digital economy.

The study titled, Online Jobs Boosting Europe's Competitiveness revealed that the internet sector in the EU already employed 3.4 million people, but that the sectors full potential, both in terms of growth and job creation, has yet to be fully realised.

Key findings in the Vlerick study reveal that given the impact of the internet sector on GDP growth —particularly in the UK, Sweden, Germany, France and Italy where the internet was found to directly contribute between 1.7% and 6.3% of GDP — there is potential for the sector to create between 400,000 and 1.5 million jobs within the European digital economy.

Steve Muylle, Professor at Vlerick Business School, said: “Our research reveals that the internet sector has become significant in the EU27 and that it can serve as a powerful catalyst for economic growth. The latter will not only bring employment yet also foster innovation, such as in digital advertising.”

Kimon Zorbas, Vice President of IAB Europe, said: "We have discovered that if all European countries performed as well as Europe's leading internet economy — Sweden — Europe has the potential to generate up to an additional 1.5 million jobs in the sector. Even if we align with the US average output we will be able to generate an additional 400,000 digital jobs in Europe. At a time of crisis this makes our sector a beacon for an economic recovery model."

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