Security, cleaning, translation services statistics - NACE Rev. 1.1

From Statistics Explained

Data from January 2009. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.

This article presents the European Union structural business statistics for NACE Group 74.6 to 74.8, 'other business services', which include:

  • security services, such as the transport of valuables and security guard/watchman activities (74.6);
  • industrial cleaning, including interior and exterior cleaning of buildings of all types as well as cleaning of public means of transport (74.7);
  • miscellaneous business activities, including professional business services such as: photographic, secretarial and translation activities, and operational business services such as packaging services (74.8).
Table 1: Other business services (NACE Groups 74.6, 74.7 and 74.8) 2006 (%) - Structural profile, EU-27
Figure 1: Other business services (NACE Groups 74.6, 74.7 and 74.8), Relative weight within other business services, EU-27, 2006 (%)
Table 2: Other business services (NACE Groups 74.6, 74.7 and 74.8) - Structural profile ranking of top five Member States in terms of value added and persons employed, 2006
Table 3: Other business services (NACE Groups 74.6, 74.7 and 74.8) - Expenditure, productivity and profitability, EU-27, 2006
Table 4: Computer and related activities (NACE Division 72), 2006
Table 5: Other business activities (NACE Division 74), 2006

Main statistical findings

Structural profile

The other business services sector (NACE Groups 74.6 to 74.8) created EUR 168.1 billion of value added in the EU in 2006 from total turnover of EUR 326.4 billion. These values represented 18.8 % of the business services (NACE Divisions 72 and 74) value added and 18.5 % of its turnover. This output was generated by just over 1.0 million enterprises employing 6.9 million persons, approximately one quarter (23.1 %) and three tenths (31.0 %) of the business services totals respectively. Among the three subsectors (NACE groups) covered by the other business services sector, miscellaneous business activities (NACE Group 74.8) was the largest in turnover and value added terms accounting for more than half or the sectoral total. However, industrial cleaning (NACE Group 74.7) had the largest workforce of the three subsectors covered, employing 3.1 million persons.

More than one quarter of the EU’s value added in the other business services sector came from the United Kingdom (25.9 %), which was also the second most specialised Member State in terms of this sector’s share of non-financial business economy (NACE Sections C to I and K) value added after Luxembourg. Germany had the largest workforce in other business services. At a more detailed level, the United Kingdom was the largest Member State (in value added terms) in two of the subsectors, but was only fourth largest in industrial cleaning, where Germany, France and Italy were larger.

Expenditure and productivity

An analysis of expenditure and productivity within the EU’s other business services sector shows very different situations between the investigation and security activities and industrial cleaning subsectors on one hand, and the miscellaneous business activities subsector on the other hand. Investment by the EU’s miscellaneous business activities subsector was valued at EUR 9.1 billion in 2006, leading to an investment rate of 9.6 %, far above the 3.5 % rate for investigation and security activities and 3.7 % rate for industrial cleaning.

An analysis of operating expenditure showed an equally remarkable difference, with personnel costs accounting for 67.0 % of operating expenditure for the investigation and security activities subsector and the industrial cleaning subsector, while these costs represented less than half this share, just 29.7 %, for the miscellaneous business activities subsector.

The EU’s miscellaneous business activities subsector recorded the highest apparent labour productivity and average personnel costs of the three subsectors in 2006, as well as the highest wage adjusted labour productivity ratio (132.4 %). The apparent labour productivity ratio and the average personnel costs for the industrial cleaning subsector were particularly low, respectively the second and fourth lowest levels of these two ratios among all NACE groups within the non-financial business economy in 2005 or 2006, reflecting the high incidence of part-time work in this subsector. The wage adjusted labour productivity ratio is less influenced by the incidence of part-time work, and this ratio was 112.4 % for industrial cleaning and 113.0 % for investigation and security activities, both among the five lowest ratios within the non-financial business economy NACE groups in 2005 or 2006.

Data sources and availability

The main part of the analysis in this article is derived from structural business statistics (SBS), including core, business statistics which are disseminated regularly, as well as information compiled on a multi-yearly basis, and the latest results from development projects.

Other possible data sources include short-term statistics (STS) and the Labour force survey (LFS). In addition, use has also been made of specialist sources for particular areas, notably transport, energy, research and development, environment, tourism and Information society statistics.


The freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment are central principles to the internal market for services and are set out in the EC Treaty. They guarantee EU enterprises the freedom to establish themselves in other Member States, and the freedom to provide services on the territory of another EU Member State. The Directive on services in the internal market (COM(2006)123) aims to achieve a genuine internal market in services, removing legal and administrative barriers to the development of services activities between Member States. The Directive was to be implemented by Member States by the end of 2009 at the latest. As well as covering most business services (with the notable exception of services of temporary work agencies), the Directive applies to a wide variety of services including industrial and construction activities, as well as distributive trades, hotels and restaurants, travel agents, real estate and renting services.

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