Service sector: figures, trends & more

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A good 80 percent of all companies in Germany operate in the service sector. Find out more about the industry, current figures and trends here!

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Industry Sketch

A Service in the sense of economics is an economic good where, in contrast to goods, the focus is not on the material production or the material value of a final product, but on a service provided by a natural or legal person at a point of time or in a time frame to meet a need. The person or company providing the service is generally referred to as a service provider:in. This also includes unpaid services provided in households, for example. As Part of the gross domestic product, however, are reported only those services that can be valued using market prices

In the national accounts, the service sector includes the economic sectors of trade, hotels and restaurants and transport, financing, rental and business service providers as well as public and private service providers. 

Good 80 percent of all companies in Germany can be assigned to this sector. Three out of four people in work today are employed in the service economy. We have summarized further important figures for you below. 

Facts and figures

According to a Statista survey, were:

  • 45.3 million people employed in Germany in 2019, 

  • over 33 million of them as service providers, 

  • of which 5.7 million people worked in the trade/maintenance/automotive sector, 

  • followed by 5.6 million workers in health care and social services, 

  • and 2.9 million employees in the Public Administration/Defense/Social Security sector, 

  • bringing up the rear are 590,000 people in the arts/entertainment/recreation sector, 

  • and 213,000 in the real estate and housing sector, 

  • Training contracts were signed in 2019 in the service sector 147,502, 

  • The average gross annual earnings of full-time employees in the service sector are around 48,800 euros, 

  • the highest earnings are achieved in the provision of financial and insurance services, where the annual income is over 77,600 euros, 

  • a total of around 45 billion hours were worked in the service sector in 2019. 

Networking of industry and services

With such a high concentration of the various sectors in the service economy innovation is everything. Germany as an industrial location is no longer conceivable without services. The production of goods and the provision of services are becoming increasingly interlinked. 

When a modern industrial product leaves the production plant, for example, it was preceded by countless services that contributed to its creation - such as logistics, maintenance, software support and much more. After the sale, further services are added, "post-production services" if you will. These include marketing, financing, logistics and repair, for example. 

Not least also in the course of a Industry 4.0 it is essential for production companies to reinvent and rethink themselves. Because Services can also important door openers and companions for the industry be in foreign markets, for example in the construction of infrastructure in emerging countries. Increasingly, abstract and innovative solutions are created in the planning or consulting service sectors. It is only in a second step that concrete orders are placed with industry here. Service providers:inside sitting "at the source - they form the interface and thus bring industrial companies into the market. 

But it is not only in Industry 4.0 that we need to reposition ourselves. Service 4.0 is the keyword you have to deal with! And there is no such thing as Service 4.0 without digitization. 

Digitization in the service sector

In principle, the service sector is already more digitized than the manufacturing sector, but the Company size Influence on the degree of digitization Large companies use the new technologies to a much greater extent than SMEs. 

However, digitization is also advancing in indirect areas of the industry that are remote from production: This applies to business-related services as well as to trade, banking, insurance and logistics. It affects not only individual jobs in a variety of ways, but also the structure of the economy, the entire value chain and the organization of work. 

In the service industry in particular, aspects of digitization, such as Analytics based on Big Data or digital customer management platforms, play an important role. Moreover, physical services and digital offerings no longer stand separately from one another, but complement one another and are combined to form so-called "smart services. New business models, corporate concepts and strategies are the future of the service economy. And as is so often the case, this also applies to you: Take advantage of the opportunities that arise in the context of digital transformations to tailor your services even better to your customers. 

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