Figures on SMEs: Companies and jobs

SMEs make up over 99% of the companies and create two-thirds of the jobs in Switzerland. Here are the key statistics.

SMEs, i.e. companies with less than 250 employees, make up over 99% of commercial companies in Switzerland and create two-thirds of the jobs in the country. This is shown by the Structural Business Statistics (STATENT) of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO).

Number of companies and jobs according to size

Commercial companies in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2017.

Company size

Companies

%

Employees

%

1 employee 298,995 50.66% 298,995 6.70%
2 employees 84,599 14.33% 169,198 3.79%
3-4 employees 82,031 13.90% 277,729 6.22%
5-9 employees 63,865 10.82% 413,133 9.25%
10-19 employees 32,210 5.46% 428,635 9.60%
20-49 employees 17,843 3.02% 533,149 11.94%
50-99 employees 5,772 0.98% 396,438 8.88%
100-199 employees 2,780 0.47% 383,679 8.59%
200-249 employees 528 0.09% 117,449 2.63%
SME Subtotal (1-249)  588,623 99.72% 3,018,405 67.60%
250-499 employees 950 0.16% 322,414 7.22%
500-999 employees 387 0.07% 269,193 6.03%
More than 1,000 employees 293 0.05% 854,743 19.14%
Total companies 590,253 100.00% 4,464,755 100.00%
Micro-enterprises (1-9) 529,490 89.71% 1,159,055 25.96%
Small enterprises (10-49) 50,053 8.48% 961,784 21.54%
Medium-sized enterprises (50-249) 9,080 1.54% 897,566 20.10%
Large enterprises (250+) 1,630 0.28% 1,446,350 32.39%
Total companies 590,253 100.00% 4,464,755 100.00%
Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2017, published in August 2019. Next publication in August 2020.

Average number of employees per SME

The STATENT focuses on the three economic sectors:

  • The primary sector, which covers agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • The secondary sector, which covers extractive and manufacturing industries, production and distribution of electricity, gas and water, and construction
  • The tertiary sector, which covers services such as retail trade, wholesale trade, restaurants and even telecommunications

Here is the total number of SMEs (commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees) by sector in 2017:

Primary sector

53,009

Secondary sector

90,032

Tertiary sector

445,892

Total

588,933

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2017, published in August 2019. Next publication in August 2020.

Here is the average number of employees per SME in 2017:

Primary sector

3.0

Secondary sector

8.5

Tertiary sector

4.9

Total

5.3

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2017, published in August 2019. Next publication in August 2020.

Number of SMEs and employees per region

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2017.

 

SME

Employees

Espace Mittelland

119,204

623,807

Lake Geneva Region

111,129

537,478

Zurich

102,619

549,394

Eastern Switzerland

83,155

435,477

Northwest Switzerland

70,352

377,133

Central Switzerland

67,901

344,342

Ticino

34,263

150,774

Total

588,623

3,018,405

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2017, published in August 2019. Next publication in August 2020.

Number of SMEs and employees by legal structure

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2017.

 

SME

Employees

Sole proprietorship

327,700

615,480

Corporation (SA)

117,169

1,570,557

Limited liability company (SARL)

107,558

471,799

Association

11,746

122,128

Simple partnership

9,670

39,273

General partnership

6,618

26,959

Cooperative company

3,186

42,625

Foundation

1,722

66,952

Limited partnership

837

4,097

Limited stock partnership

7

179

Others

2,410

58,356

Total

588,623

3,018,405

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2017, published in August 2019. Next publication in August 2020.

The “Others” category encompasses the Swiss branches of companies domiciled abroad, companies established under Swiss law, and foreign companies.

Historical development of the number of companies

The number of jobs is increasing slightly less rapidly for SMEs than for all commercial enterprises.



Information

Last modification 04.06.2020

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