Early 2021 data on businesses more detailed & complete
Following the entry into force of the European Business Statistics Regulation, Eurostat is now publishing, for the first time, preliminary Structural Business Statistics (SBS) on three key variables (number of enterprises, employment, turnover), broken down by size classes. This significant improvement will allow users to carry out analysis for different kinds of enterprises and, in particular, for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).
Moreover, these new preliminary SBS data are now covering a larger range of economic activities in the services sector, i.e. education; human health and social work activities; and arts, entertainment and recreation; financial and insurance activities. In addition, the preliminary data by economic activity are now more detailed than before (NACE Section, Division and Group level).
In 2021, the EU had 30.1 million enterprises, employing 155 million people. Of that total, 99% (29.9 million) were micro and small enterprises (0-49 persons employed), that together, employed 75.3 million people, i.e. 49% of the total number of persons employed in enterprises.
Source dataset: sbs_sc_ovw
In 2021, the ‘industry’ sector had only 8% (2.4 million) of the total number of enterprises but generated more than one-third of the turnover (€10.4 trillion, 34%) and it employed around one-fifth of the business labour force (32.8 million people, 21%). With 5.7 million enterprises, the ‘trade’ sector represented 19% of the total number; the 29.7 million employees working there generated 31% (€9.8trillion) of the total turnover. The ‘construction’ sector represented 12% of the total number of enterprises but only 6% (€1.9 trillion) of the total turnover.
Almost two-thirds of the enterprises (18.4 million enterprises, 61%) belonged to the category ‘other services’ which includes companies working in a variety of services from ‘transportation and storage’ to ‘accommodation and food service activities’, ‘education’, ‘human health and social work activities’ and ‘arts, entertainment and recreation’. Although these enterprises employed more than half the people (or 79.3 million, 51%), the turnover was less than one-third (€9.1 trillion, 29%).
The 231 521 medium-size enterprises (50-249 employees) represented 0.8% of all enterprises and employed 23.3 million people. Even though large enterprises (more than 249 people employed) represented only 0.2% of the total number of enterprises, they employed more than a third of the business labour force (56 million, 36%).
Source dataset: sbs_sc_ovw
For more information
- Statistics Explained article on European Business Statistics
- Database on structural business statistics
- Thematic section on structural business statistics
- Economic activities as described by the NACE Rev. 2 classification.
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