Swedish electronics industry and companies in the ICT service sector 2006–2007

During the year 2007 the IT sector showed a strong development which has continued since the year 2003. Production value and turnover increased continuously until reach levels of the year 2000. Value added in electronic industry declined, however it has a strong and a positive trend in the service sector this year. The total amount of gross investment within the IT sector showed a strong upswing this year after strong decline during the years 2000-2004. Furthermore the number of occupied persons in the whole sector rose with 3 percent.

According to the Business Register of Statistics Sweden [SCB], there were 1082 electronic companies with 41 850 occupied in 2007. The number of IT service companies amounted to 15 550 with 147 088 occupied. The number of electronic companies scarcely rose by 2 percent whereas the number of IT service companies increased by 4 percent compared with the previous year. The number of occupied persons in electronic companies scarcely went up by 1 percent while the number of occupied persons in IT service companies increased by 3,5 percent compared to 2006. An increased of the number of enterprises in the whole sector has not been previously recorded for the period after the IT-crisis of 2000-2001. The weak positive employment trend for the whole sector has historically been persistent.

The number of electronic companies rose in the branches manufacture of measuring and process control equipment. As well, the last branch mentioned showed a considerable increase of the number of occupied persons for two consecutive years. A similar trend we saw in the IT service companies, especially for the branch data processing, hosting and related activities which showed the largest increase for the second consecutive year. The number of occupied persons in the IT service sector showed a positive trend. The branch group database activities, other software consultancy and supply and data processing showed a positive change during 2007.

The value of Sweden’s electronic product exports declined 4 percent after an upswing of three consecutive years. Electronic product imports, on the other hand, increased for four consecutive years by 11 percent. A weak evolution of export has occurred under 2007 that originated a sharp fall in the net contribution. Sweden’s neighbouring countries as export markets have increased their importance the last few years. The OECD and EU15 countries continued being important export markets for electronic products with 60 and 35 percent of the total export value respectively. The Nordic countries together with Germany imported slightly more than one-third of electronics total sales. Amongst individual countries Norway, Denmark, Finland, USA and Germany were the most important countries to which Sweden supplied electronic products in 2007. The USA market share of Swedish electronic products declined considerably for two consecutive years decreasing from 6,3 percent in 2006 to 4,6 percent of the total export market in 2007.

This year gross investments in the IT-sector increased by 23 percent. At the same time the gross investments per occupied in electronic companies rose by 10 percent. While gross investments per occupied in the IT service sector increased by 21 percent. R&D investments in the IT sector rose between the survey years of 2005-2007 by 19 percent

Stockholm, Skåne and Västra Götaland Counties like the previous year concerning electronic companies and service companies were dominant both in hosting the number of units of production and the number of employees. The three Counties had 57 percent of the local units of production in the electronics and 69 percent in the service sector. These three places also concentrated 62 percent and 73 percent of employees respectively. This geographic concentration of the local units as well as employment in the big cities has remained unchanged since 1993.

As in the previous year the number of technicians and scientists (higher education) represented 28 percent of all occupied in the electronic companies. Within this group 82 percent were men. The same category in the IT service companies represented 24 percent of all occupied. The proportion of men was 82 percent. Historically speaking, in the IT sector this gender distribution of the occupied with higher education and gender has been shown since 1994.

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Edgar Iglesias

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