1. What is the aim of the “Berlin: a metropolis for the service industry” website?
  2. How does the service sector contribute to the Berlin economy?
  3. What is the percentage of employees in the Berlin service sector?
  4. What is the percentage of employees in the German service sector?
  5. What is the percentage of female employees in the service sector?
  6. What is the role of education and research in the service sector?
  7. What are the opportunities for the service sector?
  8. Are people working in the service sector supposed to live for their work?
  9. How to improve working conditions in the service sector?
  10. Value-added is a defined term, but what about “appreciation”?
  11. What role does the Berlin service sector play compared to the service sector in other European cities?

1. What is the aim of the “Berlin: a metropolis for the service industry” website?

The service sector makes an indispensable and growing contribution to a powerful and attractive conurbation like Berlin. The positive trend in value-added also includes the growing appreciation for the people working in that sector and the services provided by them. Our website is a result of the project “Increasing the appreciation of services in society: quality of services, quality of work, and innovative concepts of time” and wants to support this trend.

2. How does the service sector contribute to the Berlin economy?

In 2008, the Berlin service sector generated € 71.2 billion, which accounted for more than 80 percent of Berlin's GNP (2008: € 87.5 billion in total). 75 percent of economic growth between 2007 and 2008 was a result of the positive development in the service sector.

3. What is the percentage of employees in the Berlin service sector?

In October 2009, 970,000 employees in Berlin had a job in the service sector (including energy and water supply) that was subject to social security payments. This comprises about 86 percent of all employees in Berlin.

4. What is the percentage of employees in the German service sector?

In the different German federal states, an average of 68 percent (19 million) of the 27 million employees works in the service sector.

5. What is the percentage of female employees in the service sector?

57 percent of the people employed in the Berlin service sector are female. This illustrates that the service sector is extremely significant in terms of employment policy, in particular for women.

6. What is the role of education and research in the service sector?

High-quality services represent a locational advantage for companies. In order to retain professionals educated at Berlin universities, a high-quality service offer is of vital importance.
The education and knowledge of the employees play a significant part in driving the competitiveness of service companies. Innovative developments in the service sector are based on the sound expertise of the employees. Last but not least, we need focused research and professional exchange about how to develop the various areas of the service sector.

7. What are the opportunities for the service sector?

Social trends such as demographic change, greater female participation in the labour market, greater need for a better quality of life, more flexible living conditions and growing internationalisation of the people living in Berlin offer potential for market growth, and thus for the development of the Berlin service sector.

8. Are people working in the service sector supposed to live for their work?

Good service policy also includes the element of “time”. Customers expect services to be available 24/7 but this must not prevent employees in the service sector from having a private, a family life. This is why new and innovative time arrangements are needed.

9. How to improve working conditions in the service sector?

Social recognition and good working conditions are vital to the quality of work. This applies to the service sector as well as to the industry. If employees are unmotivated and unhappy at work, they will hardly be able to deliver quality. That is why we need more attractive work forms and working conditions in the service sector. An income securing the livelihood is the prerequisite for retaining qualified personnel. It is important to give employees the possibility to influence the organisation of their day-to-day work.

10. Value-added is a defined term, but what about “appreciation”?

Sustainable value-added is only possible if the work done by the workers is appreciated. Appreciation is expressed by a decent income, good working conditions and social recognition of what people working in the service sector contribute to society.

11. What role does the Berlin service sector play compared to the service sector in other European cities?

The economic power of a metropolitan region is reflected in the existing economic power of the cities and surrounding regions. This is measured in GDP per inhabitant and/or converted into Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) per inhabitant. The EU-27 average is 22,400 PPS. With a PPS of 41,500, London‘s purchasing power is well above the EU average. Vienna’s PPS is slightly higher than 36,000 PPS but lags behind London in terms of economic power, yet it is still performing better than Berlin.
When directly compared to Vienna and London, Berlin scores badly in terms of economic growth too.
However, Berlin has seen a positive trend in the contribution of services to the gross value-added. Between 1995 and 2005, its proportion increased by 5.2 percent to 79.9 percent. Experts consider this development to be a success factor in a region's capacity for innovation and competitiveness. It is also essential to keep employment levels stable in a region and has greatly contributed to securing jobs due to the positive trend in the service sector.
Looking at the general economic structure of the 27 EU Member States, there is a clear trend for the service sector. Cities where this development is most advanced and a strong focus is placed on a knowledge-based service sector have proved particularly successful.