Business and industry in Norway - The business-services industry

Number of employees172270
Number of companies47547
Gross production value in billions55,9
Gross product in percentage10,1

The term business services is used to describe the work of companies that supply services to the rest of industry. Like the remaining service sector, business services have also grown rapidly over the past few years.

This sector is characterised by relatively many, small companies. Around 68 per cent of the sector’s employees work in companies with fewer than 50 employees, and more than 40 per cent of the companies are located in Oslo or its surrounding area, Akershus. The number of companies has doubled since 1994, and the total numbers employed in this industry have risen by around 75 per cent during this same period. This growth has been strongest in the field of arranging and hiring out labour and in the investigation and guard-duty sectors. Examples of large, well-known companies include international auditing and consultancy firms such as McKinsey, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche.

Since it requires a high degree of expertise, a sufficient supply of highly educated labour will be crucial to this sector’s future growth potential.

The rise in the number of people employed in this business is due to several reasons. First, an increased amount of outsourcing has led to services that were previously produced internally in industrial companies now being taken care of externally. At the same time, there has been increased demand for specialised services that the companies themselves cannot provide. These developments lead to direct trading and closer relationships between the manufacturers of goods and the service companies, and between different service companies.

Internationalisation, economies of scale and e-commerce are driving forces that contribute to increased competition among the providers of business services, even though the industry has, to a large extent, a local impact area. Some Norwegian service companies have done well internationally. Niels Torp Arkitekter, a Norwegian firm of architects, has designed British Airway’s new headquarters in London and Snøhetta AS, another Norwegian firm of architects, has designed the new national library in Alexandria, Egypt. Norwegian-owned Unitor AS, which has its head office in Oslo, delivers technical products and services to merchant shipping and shipping industries in around 1 000 ports around the world.

BA-HR AdvokatfirmaLegal services
AccentureAdministrative and technical organisational services
Deloitte & ToucheAuditing services
Snøhetta ASArchitectural services
NorconsultTechnical and engineering services
Bates-gruppen asAdvertising services
Scandinavian Design Group (SDG)Design products

Number of employees: The number of people employed in data processing has been excluded, since this figure has been included under Information and Communication Technology. Back >
Outsourcing: Services that were previously an integrated part of the output are now spun off into independent companies. Back >

The business-services industry

Previous | Contents | Next