chapter  3
25 Pages



In comparison to the EU-15, Austria is characterized by strong small and medium-sized enterprises, which record an above-proportionate percentage of both companies and employment. Conversely, the number and employment share of micro companies is below the European average (Table 2.1). In the case of large companies, the picture is more complex. Their number is comparatively large; the opposite applies to their employment share. This indicates that most of Austria’s large companies record relatively few employees. Likewise, the relative frequency of companies belonging to Europe’s 500 largest businesses is comparatively high, whereas their employment share is rather low. All in all, SMEs prevail in the Austrian economy. They accounted for 99.6 per cent of all companies and 71.9 per cent of total employment in 2003.