New Jersey is 5th in the nation in terms of app-economy jobs, home to 4.2% of the 466,000 apps jobs created since 2007.

“Today, growth is measured in the number of apps downloaded, instead of the number of cars sold or homes constructed,” said Dr. Michael Mandel, chief economist at the Progressive Policy Institute. “The apps economy is creating jobs and changing the way we live.”

“The state of New Jersey has a long, proud parentage of scientific and technological advancement that includes Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, who lived and worked here in Bell Labs,” Lautenberg said at a press event at Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken. “The bill I will introduce next week will make sure that science and technology students get practical training in business development, so that they can build New Jersey companies, and build New Jersey jobs.

To start capitalizing on the apps economy, Stevens plans to create a mobile apps technology startup hub. According to officials, the hub will provide students and graduates from Stevens, Rutgers University and NJIT with mentorship from entrepreneurs.

“Businesses are already adapting to the apps economy, so graduates just need to be technically literate to fit into businesses’ needs and get into the work force” said Mandell.

The apps economy generated almost $20 billion in revenue in 2011. The tech sector is the most profitable part of the U.S. economy. Tech companies in the S&P 500 are projected to earn 18% of the index’s total earnings – more than any other sector.

“New Jersey is already doing well…and the question is how can we keep it going…how can the state ride this growth area of the economy and regain some of the jobs that have been lost in the past” said Mandel.