Statistics in Focus. SME statistics EU very small enterprises show dynamic growth in 1997.
The society we live in is constantly changing. Globalisation of the economy, technological revolution and the economic unification of Europe are three major factors affecting the economic infrastructure of the European Union. These transformations are also reflected in the sectoral structure and size classes of the population of enterprises. In this context, the numbers of very small enterprises (between 1 and 9 employees) and jobs associated with them expanded rapidly in 1997. In sectoral terms this expansion was accompanied by increasing tertiarisation, with strong growth in both numbers of enterprises and numbers of jobs in the 'other business activities' (operational services like security and cleaning, professional services, consultancy etc.) and 'other services' (computer-related activities, health activities, personal services and so forth) sectors. These developments are analysed in more detail in the first two sections of this report. A third section deals with the relationship between the trends in employment and in certain structural economic indicators, showing that these evolutions are not related.