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Turnover per employee indicates status of crisis' overcoming

Crisis indicator in German machinery industry in 2017 by 7.0% above prec-crisis level

Update May 28th, 2018 - The machine-builders have been hard struggling to overcome the deep fall of production and turnover by the world economic crisis.


That also still applies ten years after the outbreak of this crisis. The depth of this crisis as well as its duration belongs to the structural changes that have been developing in the course of industrial production in the leading industrialized countries since the year 2000.


As the industry analysis shows, the machinery industry consists of companies with a range of different sizes.


We would like to document how companies depending on their sizes are struggling to overcome the crisis effects and which sizes of firm is doing more easily in this context.

Machine-building companies distinguished according to their size

For this purpose we divide the machinery industry into six sizes of company classes according to the numbers of the Federal Statistical Office for 2017. These are machine-building companies with

  • fewer than 50 employees (39% of the companies 2017)
  •  50 to 99 employees (24%)
  •  100 to 249 employees (22%)
  •  250 to 499 employees (9%)
  •  500 to 999 employees (4%)
  •  1,000 and more employees (2%).

Turnover per employee indicating status of crisis' overcoming

The code number, which is to clarify to us the struggle for overcoming the crisis effects, is the turnover per employee. The employees in the mechanical engineering companies operate with full commitment. On the other hand, the turnover they generate considerably depends on the worldwide market conditions as impact of the world economic crisis.


Now could the turnover per employee be exceeded above the pre-crisis level? That would speak for the overcoming of the crisis.

Crisis indicator above pre-crisis level from 2014 to 2017

The diagram shows the results for the entire machinery industry. The turnover per employee is set to 100 for 2008 so that it becomes clear at a glance, whether this code number is now above, equal or below the pre-crisis level.


The result: The turnover per employee exceeded its pre-crisis level (=100) in 2014 with 100.5 for the first time, stood at 102.2 in 2015 by 2.2%, at 104.1 in 2016 by 4.1% and finally in 2017 7% above pre-crsis level from 2008.

Sales per employee in German machinery industry from 2008 to 2017 as crisis indicator.

A more differentiated picture offers the result for the six size classes.

The status of the crisis' overcoming in the six size classes

The turnover per employee in each of the sizes is again set to 100 for the year 2008.

The process of the crisis overcoming succeeded differently in the individual size classes.

Machine-building companies with 500 to 999 employess (light blue line) could exceed the crisis best. Their crisis indicator already exceeded pre-crisis level in 2011 (104.9) and has been rising since then reaching its highest value with 118.1 in 2017.

Sales per employee regarding company sizes in German machinery industry 2008 to 2017.

Smaller machine-builders were showing similar success. The crisis indicator of machine-builders with fewer than 50 employees (dark brown line) exceeded the pre-crisis level for the first time in 2012 (101.1 index points), again in 2014 and 2016 and reached the second highest value among the size classes with 109.9 index points in 2017.

Companies with 50 to 99 employees (dark blue line) exceeded slightly their prec-crisis-level in 2011 und 2012, fell short again for the next two years and have been lying again above their pre-crisis level since 2015. These companies show the third highest value with 105.0 index points in 2017.

Only since 2015 machine-builders with 250 to 499 employess have been succeeding in rising their turnover per employee over the pre-crisis level. In 2017 the crisis indicator of these companies stands at 104.1 index points.

The crisis indicator of machine-builders with 100 to 249 employees exceeded only 2011 with 101.7 index points its pre-crisis level and has been swinging since then between 96.8 (2014) and 99.8 (2016). Finally in year 2017 its exceed again the pre-crisis level with 102.7 index points.


The very large machine-builders with 1,000 and more employees exceeded only in 2016 their pre-crisis level for the first time with 101.3 index points. In 2017 their crisis indicator shows 103.8 index points.

Turnover per employee in Euro

Finally still for information the absolute numbers for the code number turnover per employee.

Sales per employee and sizes in German machinery industry 2008 to 2017.

The average turnover per employee in the German machinery industry is €241,072 in 2017. Its range is €130,850 from the lowest to the highest value, i.e. 54% of the sector average, reaching from €163,600 with firms with fewer than 50 employees up to €294,500 with companies with 1,000 and more employees.


1) As well known all companies of the manufacturing sector are legally with 20 and more employees committed to report production, turnover, employees among others to the Statistical Offices. So these numbers are therefore very reliable.

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