Business services is a diverse industry, broadly serving companies in five sectors: facilities management, construction services, business process outsourcing, IT and digital services and outsourced public services. The sector employs around 3.3m people across the UK and is a major contributor of UK employment growth with 12 out of the 50 fastest growing occupations falling within the business services sector.
The existence, and growth, of this industry allows other organisations to focus resources on their core competencies and therefore bring about efficiencies in the broader economy.
The sector accounts for almost 11% (£186billion) of the UK economy’s gross value added and 13% (4.6million) of employment. It is diverse, and many of its subsectors are knowledge-intensive and highly geographically mobile. The UK is a major exporter of business services, providing 27% (£66.0billion) of the UK’s services exports. It is strongly competitive, being within the top three exporters of these services in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2015 (with the US and France).
The industry has grown relatively strongly over recent years, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Between 2000 and 2016, the largest annualised growth in GVA has been recorded in consultancy and employment services subsectors.