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 2019.

Company size

Companies

%

Employees

%

1 employee 310,191 51.58% 310,191 6.79%
2 employees 83,975 13.96% 167,950 3.67%
3-4 employees 81,441 13.54% 275,998 6.04%
5-9 employees 63,997 10.64% 414,670 9.07%
10-19 employees 32,483 5.40% 432,765 9.47%
20-49 employees 18,275 3.04% 546,699 11.96%
50-99 employees 5,947 0.99% 410,462 8.98%
100-199 employees 2,834 0.47% 390,122 8.54%
200-249 employees 543 0.09% 120,272 2.63%
SME Subtotal (1-249)  599,686 99.72% 3,069,129 67,15%
250-499 employees 995 0.17% 338,973 7.42%
500-999 employees 405 0.07% 282,163 6.17%
More than 1,000 employees 306 0.05% 880,405 19.26%
Total companies 601,392 100.00% 4,570,670 100.00%
Micro-enterprises (1-9) 539,604 89.73% 1,168,809 25.57%
Small enterprises (10-49) 50,758 8.44% 979,464 21.43%
Medium-sized enterprises (50-249) 9,324 1.55% 920,856 20.15%
Large enterprises (250+) 1,706 0.28% 1,501,541 32.85%
Total companies 601,392 100.00% 4,570,670 100.00%
Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2019, published in November 2021. Next publication in November 2022.

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 2019:

Primary sector

51,592

Secondary sector

90,042

Tertiary sector

458,052

Total

599,686

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2019, published in November 2021. Next publication in November 2022.

Here is the average number of employees per SME in 2019:

Primary sector

3.0

Secondary sector

8.4

Tertiary sector

4.7

Total

5.1

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2019, published in November 2021. Next publication in November 2022.

Number of SMEs and employees per region

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2019.

 

SME

Employees

Espace Mittelland 120,656 628,265
Lake Geneva Region 114,947 549,567
Zurich 105,433 560,886
Eastern Switzerland 83,638 437,893
Northwest Switzerland 70,612 378,937
Central Switzerland 70,025 361,500
Ticino 34,375 152,081
Total 599,686 3 069 129
Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2019, published in November 2021. Next publication in November 2022.

Number of SMEs and employees by legal structure

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2019.

 

SME

Employees

Sole proprietorship 327,809 594,174
Corporation (SA) 118,191 1,600,179
Limited liability company (SARL) 118,121 517,493
Association 12,152 123,781
Simple partnership 9,223 37,736
General partnership 6,320 24,497
Cooperative company 3,175 43,190
Foundation 1,703 69,014
Limited partnership 694 3,140
Limited stock partnership 7 111
Others 2,291 55,814
Total 599,686 3,069,129
Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2019, published in November 2021. Next publication in November 2022.

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 26.01.2022

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