Facts & Figures

Industrial Core and Business Services

About 18.4 % of the Metropolitan Ruhr Area's workforce are employed in the industrial core & business services, which is slightly lower than in the previous year (18.9 %). At the same time, employment figures have also declined slightly (-0.8 %; -2,640 employees). This is due to a reduction in employment in business-related services (-5,188; -2.9 %), which follows the federal and state trends (-1.7 %; -2.2 %).

Compared to the employment ratio of the main market, business-related services (53.0 %) are a particularly strong economic sector. The production and other materials sector (+1.7 %) as well as machinery and processes sector (+1.7 %) have developed much more positively compared to the previous year, but have not been able to completely offset the employment deficits in the main market.

Regionally the Ennepe-Ruhr district and the cities of Duisburg and Hagen, measured in relation to the number of employees in the overall economy, show a clear specialisation compared to the other Ruhr regions and the national figures.

Key insights

to the Lead Market

327,699 (-0.8%)


20,966 (-0.6%)


70.14 bn. € (-4.8%)


The main market industrial core & business services with a total turnover of 70.14 billion Euro in 2017 is, in contrast to previous years, no longer the main market with the highest turnover. The largest part of the turnover (about 73 %) is generated by 11 % of the companies in the production and other materials sector.

This is primarily the result of an industrial and social monostructure that had developed over 150 years in the Ruhr Area, which had in part primarily focused on the needs of the coal and steel industry and heavily depended on coal output and the production figures of the iron and steel industry. Up until 2018 the Ruhr Area was still mining hard coal. This era was finally over with the closure of the last Prosper-Haniel colliery in Bottrop and the end of coal subsidies.

The Metropolitan Ruhr Area as a steel industry centre is currently facing major challenges, as the European steel industry has been suffering from overcapacities on the market for years. This also has an impact on the turnover and company development in the main market (turnover: -4.8 %, company: -0.6 %). Most of the decline in turnover is due to the production and other materials sector, and here in particular to the production of basic chemicals, fertilisers and nitrogen compounds, plastics in primary forms and the production of pig iron, steel and ferro-alloys. This shows that the metal and chemical industries as well as primary industries still account for a large proportion of the economic performance of the Metropolitan Ruhr Area and have a considerable influence on economic growth, particularly in the main market of industrial core & business services.

To the other Lead Markets

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