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 2018.

Company size

Companies

%

Employees

%

1 employee 301,659 50.90% 301,659 6.67%
2 employees 83,894 14.15% 167,788 3.71%
3-4 employees 81,788 13.80% 276,884 6.12%
5-9 employees 64,158 10.82% 415,338 9.19%
10-19 employees 32,317 5.45% 431,453 9.54%
20-49 employees 17,994 3.04% 537,667 11.89%
50-99 employees 5,835 0.98% 400,853 8.87%
100-199 employees 2,840 0.48% 389,889 8.62%
200-249 employees 531 0.09% 117,795 2.61%
SME Subtotal (1-249)  591,016 99.72% 3,039,326 67.23%
250-499 employees 986 0.17% 335,341 7.42%
500-999 employees 394 0.07% 276,778 6.12%
More than 1,000 employees 299 0.05% 869,574 19.23%
Total companies 592,695 100.00% 4,521,019 100.00%
Micro-enterprises (1-9) 531,499 89.67% 1,161,669 25.69%
Small enterprises (10-49) 50,311 8.49% 969,120 21.44%
Medium-sized enterprises (50-249) 9,206 1.55% 908,537 20.10%
Large enterprises (250+) 1,679 0.28% 1,481,693 32.77%
Total companies 592,695 100.00% 4,521,019 100.00%
Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2018, published in August 2020. Next publication in August 2021.

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 2018:

Primary sector

52,269

Secondary sector

89,742

Tertiary sector

449,005

Total

591,016

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2018, published in August 2020. Next publication in August 2021.

Here is the average number of employees per SME in 2018:

Primary sector

3.0

Secondary sector

8.5

Tertiary sector

4.7

Total

5.1

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2018, published in August 2020. Next publication in August 2021.

Number of SMEs and employees per region

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2018.

 

SME

Employees

Espace Mittelland

119,439

624,820

Lake Geneva Region

112,580

544,735

Zurich

103,676

558,475

Eastern Switzerland

83,007

436,393

Northwest Switzerland

69,871

375,811

Central Switzerland

68,148

348,128

Ticino

34,295

150,964

Total

591,016

3,039,326

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2018, published in August 2020. Next publication in August 2021.

Number of SMEs and employees by legal structure

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2018.

 

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

4,803

79,277

Total

591,016

3,039,326

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2018, published in August 2020. Next publication in August 2021.

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 25.10.2020

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