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Size analysis of businesses

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  • Release date: 21 December 2017
  • Period covered: 2017
An annual report which gives estimates of the size structure of all enterprises that are active in Wales, including estimates for the very smallest businesses that operate below the VAT threshold.

Key points

  • In 2017, 38.3 per cent of private sector employment in Wales was accounted for by large enterprises (those with 250 or more employees), compared to 39.8 per cent for the UK as a whole.
  • Between 2003 and 2017, the proportion of employment in the large size-band fell by 3.3 percentage points in Wales and fell by 3.6 percentage points in the UK.
  • In 2017, around 0.4 per cent of enterprises active in Wales were non-UK owned, accounting for 13.6 per cent of employment in 2017, up from 13.2 per cent in 2016.
  • There was considerable variation between industry sectors in 2017, with employment in agriculture almost entirely amongst micro businesses (90.6 per cent) and employment in production industries concentrated in the large size-band (49.8 per cent).
  • Within Wales, the local authorities with the largest proportion of private sector employment in the large size-band were Cardiff and Newport (52.7 per cent and 52.6 per cent, respectively), and the smallest was Powys (19.8 per cent).


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