Facts & Figures

Industrial Core and Business Services

The region’s heavy economic importance on the Industrial Core and Business Services continues unabated. The share of employees in the overall economy of the Ruhr Metropolis remains at around 18.9 %. This core segment in the Ruhr region employed around 330,309 employees paying social insurance contributions.

The business-related services sub-market (54.2 %) followed by materials (33.6 %) and machines and processes (12.2 %) took the lion’s share of employment. In regional terms, the Ennepe-Ruhr district and the cities of Duisburg and Hagen proved to be considerable area of focus compared to other Ruhr regions and the federal figures as measured by the percentage of employees in the overall economy.

The Industrial Core and Business Services showed an increase in employment of 2.2 % (+7,084 employees) between 2017 and 2018, which was far higher than in the previous year (+1.2 %). The employment increase was entirely driven by the business-related services (+3.6 %) and materials (1.0 %) sub-markets, thus balancing the reduction in employment (-0.9 %) in machinery and processes.

Key insights

to the Lead Market

330,309 (+2.2%)


21,093 (-0.5%)


7667 bn. € (+12.0%)


At 21,093 companies, the Industrial Core took third place in the number of companies second to Urban Construction & Housing and Leisure & Events. The high number of companies shows the dominance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economic structure of the Industrial Core.

Materials proved to be a major growth driver (+15 %). Apart from that, business-related services (+6.6 %) and machinery and processes (+2.5 %) also contributed to the positive development. The significant growth in turnover and employment in business-related services reflects the ongoing transition of the Industrial Core from classical engineering, plant and tool construction towards a more service-based orientation. Digitalisation and networking have led to increased sectoral convergence between industry and other economic areas such as energy, IT, and also mobility, as well as diversification in the industry. This has also led to a great increase in the importance of supplementary services and extended business models.



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