Vigorous service sector growth
The number of socially insured persons employed in the service sector in Bonn increased significantly between 2016 and 2017, growing by 3,585, or 2.3%. In mid-2017, a total of 159,522 persons in Bonn were engaged in tertiary occupations, which is 91.9% of the entire active population. Like Frankfurt am Main and Potsdam, Bonn thus ranks among the cities with the most highly geared service economies in Germany. Across NRW as a whole, 72.6% of the working population was active in the tertiary sector as of the middle of 2017. The manufacturing sector accounted for around 26.9% of total employment in NRW. Against 2016, the number of persons employed in the manufacturing sector in NRW edged up by 0.5%. The equivalent figure in Bonn also showed a moderate rise of 0.7% (+100 persons in absolute terms). In mid-2017, manufacturing accounted for 8.0% of employment in Bonn.
Information and communications sector dynamic
Between 2016 and 2017, the number of persons employed in the public and private services sector (excluding public administration) rose by 1,269, notably due to increased employment in the healthcare and social service segments. The information and communications sector also expanded significantly, registering an additional 1,158 persons employed – a percentage increase of 7.9%. The sharpest employment gains in absolute terms were again seen in public administration (+419 employees/+2.2%) and the hospitality industry (+296 employees/+4.9%). The manufacturing sector also registered a moderate upturn in employment over the year with a 0.7% increase in jobs.
99.5% of businesses SMEs
Enterprises with fewer than 250 employees accounted for 99.4% of all businesses in Bonn in 2016. Numbering 15,550 entities, they provided 89,658 jobs (58.6% of the total) subject to social security contributions. The other 90 enterprises, with 250 or more employees, provided 63,231 jobs (41.4%) subject to social security contributions. The structural breakdown of business entities in Bonn presents a differentiated picture. Micro-enterprises employing 9 people or less accounted for 87.7% of all businesses and 12.8% of employment. Small enterprises with 10-49 employees provided 18.4% of jobs and made up 9.1% of businesses, while medium-scale enterprises with 50-249 employees accounted for 27.4% of employment and 2.6% of businesses. Large enterprises with 250 employees or more employed 41.4% of the working population, which is a significantly higher percentage than in NRW as a whole (33.0%). However, comparison with selected cities in NRW showed that some registered significantly more employment in large enterprises. For example, while the percentage of employment generated by large enterprises stood at 41.3% in Münster – similar to Bonn – it was 43.7% in Cologne, 43.8% in Düsseldorf and no less than 50.1% in Leverkusen.
Global players in Bonn
Across the area covered by the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the largest private employers in 2017 (excluding public institutions) were Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post DHL Group and Postbank. Together, they employed around 27,600 people. The two publicly listed heavyweights alone – Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post DHL Group – managed strategies for a global workforce of over 730,000 from head offices in Bonn. However, major companies with global operations in the manufacturing sector – e.g. in energy management and the automotive supply industry – also employed thousands of people in the city.
Bonn’s significance as a key location for major national and international companies is revealed by a closer look at the market capitalisation of the companies that are listed in the DAX indices (DAX 30, MDAX, TecDAX) and have their head offices in the city. In August 2018, the Bonn DAX companies Deutsche Telekom and Deutsche Post DHL Group had a joint market capitalisation of around 103.6 billion euros (as of 16 August 2018). This helped make Bonn the third-strongest performing city in Germany (second in 2016) in terms of stock market value. This was revealed by the “Börsenliga 2018” study conducted by strategy consultants Simon-Kucher & Partners, who have produced such rankings since 2005. Bonn started in second place in 2005 and has consistently ranked among the front-runners for thirteen years.