In preparation for my talk at the upcoming Service Design Global Conference I’ve been taking a stab at sizing the U.S. market for service design. Here’s the start of what I’ve turned up:
What’s the size of the U.S. service economy?
- Even as early as 1999, services accounted for roughly 80% of the U.S. economy [source: U.S. Department of Commerce report] although Wikipedia quotes services as making up 76.9% of the U.S. economy in 2009.
- Service workers outnumber goods-producing workers by a 5-to-1 ratio. "According to preliminary statistics compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and published in Establishment Data Historical Employment (2005), workers who provided services (111.5 million) outnumbered workers who produced goods (22.1 million) by a ratio of five to one." [source:stateuniversity.com]
- While the U.S. is running an overall trade deficit, it has a trade surplus in services. "U.S. services exports totaled $551.6 billion in 2008, up $54.4 billion (or 10.9 percent) from 2007. This rise in exports helped the U.S. to have a record trade surplus in services at $144.1 billion, up $24.9 billion (or 20.9 percent) from 2007." [source: U.S. Department of Commerce fact sheet]
- The big service industries are trade, transportation, utilities, and government. ”The largest category of service-providing jobs is found in the group of trade, transportation, and utilities occupations (23.1% in 2005). Federal, state, and local government jobs (21.8 million) accounted for 19.5% of the total service-providing jobs in 2005.” (See Table 2.2.) [source: stateuniversity.com]
Who are the big U.S. employers? I’m asking this question as I hypothesize that those who employ many people are more likely to be service-oriented organizations.