Figures on SMEs: Historical development

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

The number of SMEs (commercial enterprises) present in Switzerland (599,686) increased by 1.4% in 2019 over one year (2018: 591,235) and by 10% compared to 2011 (545,400). As for the number of jobs (3,069,129), it increased by 1% over one year (2018: 3,038,859) and by 6.8% since 2011 (2,873,193).

This increase is the same compared to 2018 and 2011 when commercial enterprises of all sizes are taken into account. The workforces of all enterprises, however, increased slightly more rapidly than those of SMEs (+1.1% compared to 2018 and +8.4% compared to 2011).

Difficult historical comparisons

It should be noted that the method used by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) to count the number of companies in Switzerland changed with the introduction of the new Structural Business Statistics (STATENT). It is impossible to directly compare the figures from the STATENT (since 2011) with those of the Federal Business Census, completed in 2001, 2005 and 2008.

However, as part of the first STATENT publication, the FSO applied an assessment model based on the new definitions and recalculated the data for 2005 and 2008. According to these calculations, the total number of enterprises in Switzerland increased by 3.6% from 2005 to 2008, and only 0.2% from 2008 to 2011. The number of full-time equivalent jobs increased by 7.6% from 2005 to 2008, and then by 4.3% from 2008 to 2011.

Source: FSO, Structural Business Statistics (STATENT), Provisional Results for 2019 (publication of final 2019 results: Autumn 2022)


Last modification 14.01.2022

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