Facts & Figures

Lead Market Digital Communication

The Digital Communication lead market is still the smallest segment in the Ruhr Metropolis at 55,533 employees (3.2 % of total employment). However, ongoing digitalisation and networking impact almost every area of life and work, thus increasing the demand for products and services from the Digital Communication lead market.

New developments in digital technology reflect this trend, especially in information and communications (ICT). Innovative developments may give rise to increased interlinking with other lead markets such as Mobility. Flexible and attractive public transport operating modes rely in many cases on well-established and innovative information and communication technologies, such as in user and vehicle location.

This has again led to a significant increase in employment figures in 2018 (+6.5 %; +3,383 employees). This places the Ruhr Metropolis ahead of state and federal trends (+5.5 % and +6.0 %, respectively).

In detail

Lead Market Digital Communication

55,533 (+6.5%)


6,427 (+2.4%)


7.85 bn. € (+17.0%)


The largest sub-markets in Digital Communication by share of employees in the lead market comprise data processing services and software (60.0 %) as well as trade, repair and infrastructure as associated services (26.2 %). Dortmund, Essen and Bochum have emerged as regional areas of focus. The core areas of data processing services and software (+2,133; +6.8 %) and associated services (+1487; +11.4 %) in particular showed an increase in employment in 2018.


The Digital Communication lead market also grew again in terms of turnover and number of companies. The number of companies increased by +2.4 % to 6,427. Most of the new companies were involved in trade, repair, and infrastructure services associated with the digital economy (+101 %). The associated services also showed the highest increase in turnover (+29.2 %). Extension to the cable infrastructure in the wake of expanding digitalisation proved to be the main driver here. Overall, turnover in the Digital Communication lead market increased to € 7.85 bn (+17.0 %).



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