Facts & Figures

Lead Market Digital Communication

With a share of 3.4 % of total employment (60,671 employees), the lead market of digital communication will continue to be the smallest segment in the Metropole Ruhr in 2020. However, employment development is more dynamic than at the state and national level (+2.3 %; +2.4 %). The majority of employees are in the core area of data processing services and software (59.2 %). Regionally, the Dortmund location in particular shows a high degree of specialisation in a state and national comparison.

The majority of employment in the lead market was built up in the areas of neighbouring services (+866; +5.4 %) and data processing services and software (+980; +2.8 %). The core area of IT hardware was the only sub-market to record a slight decline in employment (-43; -0.8 %).

Key insights

to the Lead Market

60,671 (+3.1%)


6,585 (+0.8%)


8.74 bn. € (+11.1%)


Compared to the other markets, the lead market digital communication recorded the second strongest increase in turnover (+11.1%). The number of companies remained almost the same in the period under review (+0.8%). The positive development is mainly due to the core area of data processing services and software (+11.7%) as well as to the neighbouring services (+8.6%). The total turnover of companies specialising in data processing, hosting and related activities increased more than fifteenfold compared to the previous year's figure.

The data processing and hosting industry includes activities such as web hosting, offering streaming services and external provision of applications. The growing demand for cloud solutions and technological progress (better internet connection, higher volume of broadband traffic) as well as the pandemic-related increased use of the possibility to work from home will continue to positively influence the industry in the future.

For online retail, the pandemic caused a record increase in sales, with particular growth in online grocery, home furnishings and building materials. These changes in shopping behaviour are likely to be maintained to some extent even after the pandemic. Accordingly, it can be assumed that online trade, especially in the area of everyday products, will continue to grow.

But other areas of digital change are also advancing, such as the use of artificial intelligence and learning systems for process automation and optimisation in industry and logistics. These technologies not only increase production and process speeds, but also enable and facilitate the cooperation of global teams and make process structures more changeable. This continues to offer enormous design potential for numerous markets with major effects on our working and living realities.

To the other Lead Markets

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Tel.: +49 201 632488-24
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Corporate Communications
Tel.: +49 201 632488-15
Fax: +49 201 632488-99