TikTok claims its contribution to the economy is huge

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TikTok drove $14.7 billion in small-business owners’ revenue in 2023 and contributed $24.2 billion to U.S. gross domestic product last year, according to a company-paid report issued Wednesday.

The report, by the economics consultancy Oxford Economics, found that TikTok supports a minimum of 224,000 jobs in the United States, with the app’s greatest economic impact seen in California, Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois.

Oxford Economics conducted the study to measure TikTok’s economic value by surveying more than 1,000 small-business owners that use TikTok and 7,500 TikTok users across the country. The study predated the launch of TikTok Shop, which has become a sales and marketing behemoth since launching last September, so the economic modeling does not include any boost that has made to small-business revenue.

TikTok funded the study and collaborated with Oxford Economics by providing information about internal operations such as employee headcount.

TikTok has had the largest impact in the food-and-beverage sector, supporting a $6.4 billion annual contribution to GDP and supporting 73,000 jobs in 2023, the report said. The app also supports small businesses in health and wellness and business services, according to the report.

Small businesses’ use of TikTok as an advertising platform provided $5.3 billion in tax revenue to the U.S. government last year alone, the report said. Thirty-nine percent of the small-business owners included in the report said that TikTok is crucial to their businesses’ existence, and 69 percent said the app led to increased sales for their business in the past year, according to the report.

Even outside of its user base, TikTok is a major contributor to the economy, the report found. The app’s U.S. operations supported an additional $8.5 billion contribution to GDP last year and $2 billion in taxes, and supports more than 59,000 jobs across the country, according to the report.

Minority groups are more likely to use TikTok compared with non-minorities, according to the report. Eighty-three percent of Black small-business owners surveyed said they had seen a significant boost in sales after leveraging TikTok to promote their businesses; 86 percent of Latino or Hispanic small-business owners surveyed reported the same, as did 88 percent of Asian American and Pacific Islander small-business owners.

All minority groups reported that TikTok was essential in helping them land brand partnerships and develop revenue streams that would have been far more difficult without the app.

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