App developers who launch their projects on the Facebook platform have created 235,644 jobs and contributed $15.7 billion to the economy, says a study released by the University of Maryland.

Using statistical evidence provided by Facebook and apps developers, researchers at the Smith School Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy show that the boom in games like Farmville and the creation of productivity apps are boosting at least one corner of the economy.

They say that the "Facebook App Economy" created 53,000 jobs just in software companies alone. The study does not cover digital agencies that have launched internal departments to create apps for corporations and brands.

Il-Horn Hann and Siva Viswanathan, co-directors of the center and associate professors of information systems, measured the number of people employed to build, develop and consult on Facebook applications and correlated it to data about apps made available by the company. Using conservative estimates of the data, Hann and Viswanathan judge between 129,000 to more than 182,000 people are employed in jobs supported by the app economy. The more aggressive approach to the data tips the jobs creation number over 230,000.

If the more aggressive number is true and, as we have said before, the app economy is not fully developed, the potential for economic uplift is staggering.

The results of the study are available in a white paper.