60 percent of all employees work in SMEs

Almost 60% of all employees in Germany worked in small and medium-sized entities (SMEs) in the year 2005. This was revealed through a study by the Federal Statistical Office which analysed in this respect the sectors of industry, construction, hotel business as well as selected fields of the service sector. These account for about 80% of all companies in Germany.

The study related to SMEs as defined by EU standards: according to these companies with less than 250 employees and 50 million Euros of annual turnover at the most are considered to be small and medium-sized entities.

In total 99% of all the companies operating in the above fields were SMEs in the year 2005. These generated almost 35% of total turnover, accounted for 40% of gross investment in machinery and generated 46% of total value added.

SMEs play a particularly important role in the construction and hotel industry. There they generated more than 80% of total turnover and employed about 90% of staff. The sector with the smallest number of SMEs were energy and water utilities: here these accounted for less than 10% of total turnover and for just about 20% of employees.

Besides the important role of SMEs with regard to employment the study in question also shows the importance of major enterprises: even though less than 1% of those businesses surveyed were major companies, these nevertheless generated 65% of total turnover, 60% of gross investment and accounted for 54% of gross value added and employed 42% of all employees. GERMAN