The Business Services Supersector

The business services industry comprises all work done by industries that support the operations, infrastructure and productivity of a company. These include IT, procurement and shipping, accounting, marketing and management consulting.

These services are different from product-based businesses, which develop and manufacture physical goods such as machinery, computers or vehicles. They are also different from utilities that deliver goods or services, such as electricity or water, to consumers based on consumption. Instead of producing goods, businesses that offer business services sell them to other companies. This type of business usually requires less start-up capital because the focus is on delivering the service rather than on manufacturing products.

For example, a graphic design firm might produce logos, signs, packaging, publications and web graphics for its business clients. Or a shipping and logistics service might provide delivery to clients that use its services to transport their own goods.

Other examples of business services include a utility that charges commercial customers based on their power consumption or an IT service provider that offers a device as a service for a monthly fee together with operation, maintenance and support. Other services that businesses might buy are those that improve employee quality of life, such as gym memberships and daycare.

Data for the professional and business services supersector comes from employers, industry surveys and a national survey of households. It includes the number of jobs and the unemployment rate for professionals and other business services workers, wage and salary data by occupation, union membership and representation, job openings and turnover, and gross job gains and losses.

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