Our contribution to EU27 industry


Top 10 sectors account for 82% of total EU27 manufacturing enterprises

Top 10 sectors: (EU27+UK) number of enterprises

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There are 2.03 million enterprises in the EU27EU27 manufacturing sector. Fabricated metal products are the largest sector, accounting for 18.8% of all enterprises operating in the EU27EU27 manufacturing industry, followed by the food industry (12.9%).

10 sectors account for 82% of total EU27 manufacturing enterprises. There are 27,986 companies operating in the EU27 chemical sector, accounting for 1.4% of the total number of enterprises in the EU27 manufacturing sector.

Chemicals is the fourth largest producer in EU27 manufacturing

Top 10 sectors: EU27 turnover (€ billion, 2018)

10 sectors account for 74% of EU27 manufacturing turnover. Automotive and food products are the two largest sectors in the EU27 manufacturing industry, accounting for more than one quarter of all turnover (26.6%).

With €541 billion, chemicals represent the fourth leading sector, accounting for 7.0% of EU27 manufacturing turnover.

Turnover comprises the totals invoiced by the unit during the reference period. It includes all duties and taxes on the goods or services invoiced by the unit except for VAT invoiced by the unit to its customer and other similar deductible taxes directly linked to turnover. It also includes all other charges (transport, packaging, etc.) passed on to the customer. Price reductions, rebates and discounts as well as the value of returned packing must be deducted.

Chemicals* is the leading sector accounting for 17.7% of EU27 manufacturing added value

Top 10 sectors: EU27 added value (2018)

10 sectors account for 81% of EU27 manufacturing added value. The chemical sector (including pharmaceuticals and rubber and plastics) is the largest sector in the EU27 manufacturing industry, accounting for 17.7% of added value.

Value added at factor costs is the gross income from operating activities after adjusting for operating subsidies and indirect taxes. Value adjustments (such as depreciation) are not subtracted.

The chemicals* sector contributes 12% of EU27 manufacturing employment

Top 10 sectors: EU27 number of employees (2018)

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There are 28.2 million people directly employed in the EU27 manufacturing sector. 10 sectors account for 77% of EU27 manufacturing employment. Food products and chemicals are the two largest sectors in the EU27 manufacturing industry, accounting for a quarter of all employment (26.1%).

Chemicals (including pharmaceuticals and rubber and plastics) is the second largest sector (3.4 million people). It contributes 11.9% of EU27 manufacturing employment. The sector generated an even greater number of indirect jobs – up to three times higher than through direct employment.

According to Eurostat data, employment in the EU27 chemical industry (without pharmaceuticals and rubber and plastics) is particularly high in five sub-sectors – petrochemicals; paints, varnishes and similar coatings; printing ink and mastics; plastics in primary forms; perfumes and toilet preparations; soap and detergents, cleaning and polishing preparations – all sectors with a significant presence in the EU27.

Number of employees is defined as those persons who work for an employer and who have a contract of employment and receive compensation in the form of wages, salaries, fees, gratuities, piecework pay or remuneration in kind. A worker from an employment agency is an employee of that temporary employment agency and not of the unit (customer) in which they work.

Salaries: 45% higher in chemicals than EU27 manufacturing average

Top 10 sectors: EU27 personnel costs per employee (PCE, 2018)

According to Eurostat data, the chemical sub-sectors with the highest personnel costs at the EU-aggregate level are organic basic chemicals, plastics and paints. However, the analysis indicates that some sub-sectors with very low absolute value at EU-aggregate level appear to have the highest costs per employee, such as synthetic rubber or pesticides/nitrogen.

Concerning the personnel costs per employee, chemicals represent the fourth leading sector. Pharmaceuticals and refined petroleum generated the two highest costs per employee, followed by other transport equipment. Labour cost per employee is 45% higher than the manufacturing average.

Personnel costs are defined as the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an employer to an employee (regular and temporary employees as well as home workers) in return for work done by the latter during the reference period. Personnel costs also include taxes and employee social security contributions retained by the unit as well as the employer’s compulsory and voluntary social contributions. Personnel costs are made up of wages and salaries and the employer’s social security costs.

EU27 Labour Productivity*: 67% higher in chemicals than EU27 manufacturing average

Top 10 sectors: EU27 apparent labour productivity (ALP, 2018)

Chemicals represent the fourth leading sector. Apparent Labour productivity is 67% higher in chemicals than the EU27 manufacturing average.

Apparent labour productivity (gross value added per person employed) expressed in thousands of euros. The number of persons employed is defined as the total number of persons who work in the observation unit (inclusive of working proprietors, partners working regularly in the unit and unpaid family workers), as well as persons who work outside the unit who belong to it and are paid by it (e.g. sales representatives, delivery personnel, repair and maintenance teams). It excludes manpower supplied to the unit by other enterprises, persons carrying out repair and maintenance work in the enquiry unit on behalf of other enterprises, as well as those on compulsory military service.

EU27 Labour productivity grows at 1.3% (CAGR)

Labour productivity in the EU27 chemical industry (LP)

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Highly educated and trained employees, coupled with continuously high investments in the workforce, have turned the EU27 chemical sector into a leading industry in terms of high labour productivity until 2017

Between 2010 and 2017, labour productivity in the EU27 chemical industry rose at an average annual rate of 2.7% (CAGR). However, productivity has followed less significant trend during the past three years.

All in all, between 2010 and 2020, labour productivity in the EU27 chemical industry rose at an average annual rate of 1.3% (CAGR)

Chemicals* is the largest investor in EU27 manufacturing

Top 10 sectors: EU27 investment (2018)

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There are 2.03 million enterprises operating in the EU27 manufacturing sector. They invested about €280 billion in 2018. Chemicals (including pharmaceuticals and rubber and plastics) represent the largest investor in EU27 manufacturing, accounting for 17.7% of total investment, followed by Automotive and Food.

Gross investment in tangible goods is defined as investment during the reference period in all tangible goods. Included are new and existing tangible capital goods, whether bought from third parties or produced for own use (i.e. capitalised production of tangible capital goods), having a useful life of more than one year including non-produced tangible goods such as land. Investments in intangible and financial assets excluded.

Gross operating surplus (GOS) in Chemicals accounts for 11% of EU27 turnover

Top 10 sectors: EU27 gross operating surplus (GOS, 2018)

Regarding its gross operating profit, chemicals compare favourably to other manufacturing sectors as well. The ratio of gross operating profits to turnover is the seventh highest in industry and is well above the manufacturing average.

Gross operating surplus (GOS), or profits, is defined as value added minus personnel costs. It is the surplus generated by operating activities after the labour factor input has been compensated for. GOS in chemicals accounts for 11.2% of turnover.

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