Business services monitor: second quarter 2009

09/09/2009 15:00

Following a long period of growth, business services turnover fell for the first time in the second quarter of 2009. Turnover growth rates in the various branches differed strongly from those in the second quarter of last year. Companies providing business services have become more pessimistic in their expectations for the third quarter of 2009.

Turnover lower in most branches

Turnover in the business services sector fell by well over 4 percent in the second quarter of 2009. Most of the branches in business services realised less turnover compared to the second quarter last year. Advertising agencies and temp agencies in particular showed substantial turnover losses. As a result of the weakened economy, many temporary workers have lost their jobs. Only a couple of branches in business services were able to increase their turnover in the second quarter, although growth rates were lower than in the preceding quarters.

Year-on-year turnover changes

Year-on-year turnover changes

New vacancies halved

Some 27 thousand new vacancies were created in business services in the second quarter. One year previously, this number was twice as high. Demand for new staff decreased considerably in all branches. The biggest decrease occurred in computer services, where it fell by 70 percent to 3 thousand, the lowest number since 2004. Vacancies filled in the sector numbered 33 thousand in the second quarter of 2009, 18 thousand fewer than in the same period last year. At the end of the second quarter, almost 24 thousand jobs were still open. A year earlier the number of vacant positions was much higher, at 55 thousand.

Number of new and filled vacancies

Number of new and filled vacancies

Economic climate changes for the worse

Results from the Business Sentiment Survey of July 2009 show that companies providing business services had become substantially less optimistic. The workforce has decreased further, and opinions on the current economic climate for enterprises deteriorated further in the second quarter.

Opinions on the economic climate

Opinions on the economic climate

Negative expectations

Companies are also pessimistic in their expectations for the third quarter of 2009. On balance, nearly a quarter of companies expect turnover to decrease in the third quarter. They are much more cautious about staff recruitment: only 7 percent expect an expansion, whereas 41 percent foresee a reduction.

Expectations for the third quarter of 2009

Expectations for the third quarter of 2009