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 2016.

Company size

Companies

%

Employees

%

1 employee 295'289 50.37% 295'289 6.69%
2 employees 84'728 14.45% 169'456 3.84%
3-4 employees 82'340 14.05% 278'780 6.32%
5-9 employees 63'805 10.88% 413'282 9.36%
10-19 employees 31'974 5.45% 425'861 9.65%
20-49 employees 17'542 2.99% 525'183 11.90%
50-99 employees 5'700 0.97% 391'599 8.87%
100-199 employees 2'705 0.46% 371'210 8.41%
200-249 employees 541 0.09% 120'050 2.72%
SME Subtotal (1-249)  584'624 99.73% 2'990'710 67.75%
250-499 employees 923 0.16% 312'509 7.08%
500-999 employees 384 0.07% 268'365 6.08%
More than 1,000 employees 283 0.05% 842'727 19.09%
Total companies 586'214 100.00% 4'414'311 100.00%
Micro-enterprises (1-9) 526'162 89.76% 1'156'807 26.21%
Small enterprises (10-49) 49'516 8.45% 951'044 21.54%
Medium-sized enterprises (50-249) 8'946 1.53% 882'859 20.00%
Large enterprises (250+) 1'590 0.27% 1'423'601 32.25%
Total companies 586'214 100.00% 4'414'311 100.00%
Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2016, published in August 2018. Next publication in August 2019.

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 2016:

Primary sector

53,584

Secondary sector

90,149

Tertiary sector

440,891

Total

584,624

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2016, published in August 2018. Next publication in August 2019.

Here is the average number of employees per SME in 2016:

Primary sector

2.9

Secondary sector

8.5

Tertiary sector

4.7

Total

5.1

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2016, published in August 2018. Next publication in August 2019.

Number of SMEs and employees per region

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2016.

 

SME

Employees

Espace Mittelland

118,818

619,400

Lake Geneva Region

108,318

526,325

Zurich

102,248

544,542

Eastern Switzerland

83,222

433,359

Northwest Switzerland

70,173

376,261

Central Switzerland

67,506

340,564

Ticino

34,339

150,259

Total

584,624

2,990,710

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2016, published in August 2018. Next publication in August 2019.

Number of SMEs and employees by legal structure

Commercial enterprises with 1 to 249 employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors in 2016.

 

SME

Employees

Sole proprietorship

329,825

628,138

Corporation (SA)

116,146

1,554,708

Limited liability company (SARL)

102,239

447,134

Simple partnership

9,781

39,466

Association

11,449

121,613

General partnership

6,835

27,874

Cooperative company

3,212

41,957

Foundation

1,711

65,917

Limited partnership

898

4,350

Limited stock partnership

7

160

Others

2,521

59,393

Total

580,391

2,990,170

Sources: provisional figures from STATENT 2016, published in August 2018. Next publication in August 2019.

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.


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Last modification 01.11.2018

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