The Joint Research Centre (JRC) recently published the 2021 PREDICT - Key Facts report: latest figures from ICT and R&D. The prospective insights of this 14th edition track the progress made in the ICT sector and its R&D in the EU and its Member States.
This report supports the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) revealed today by the Commission, which tracks the progress made in EU Member States in digital competitiveness in the areas of human capital, broadband connectivity, the integration of digital technologies by businesses and digital public services.
The report is published together with the PREDICT 2021 interactive Dashboard and the PREDICT 2021 Dataset, which represent the most comprehensive information system available on the state of ICT R&D and other macroeconomic variables in the EU and in 13 non-EU major world economies.
Report’s Major trends
The size of the EU ICT sector in 2018 amounted to € 541 billion value added (i.e. the sector’s revenues less expenditures in materials and services), employed 5.4 million people and counted for € 29 billion on R&D business expenditure (BERD). The ICT sector represented 4.0 % of the EU total value added, 2.6% of total employment, 14.9% of total BERD, and 18.7% and 21.3 % of the R&D personnel and researchers in the EU, respectively.
In the System of National Accounts, value added is defined as the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption; it is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an individual producer, industry or sector.
The development from 1995 until 2018 shows that the EU ICT sector multiplied its added value in real terms (that is, when adjusted by deflation) by a factor of 4.0, while the one of the total economy increased by 1.5, and the number of persons employed in ICT in 2018 is 1.6 times the number of persons employed in the same sector in 1995. Labour productivity (calculated dividing a sector value added by the number of persons employed or by hours worked), in the ICT sector grew much faster than labour productivity in the total economy.
Estimations in pandemic times
Estimations for 2020 show that the ICT sector has suffered the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that it has been less affected than the economy as a whole. It has outperformed the economy in general in both value added and employment. In fact, the ICT sector value added grew in some countries and its employment increased in the majority of EU countries.
Moreover, the pandemic has had a very uneven impact respectively on ICT manufacturing and ICT services: value added in ICT manufacturing maintained the levels of the previous year, while employment plunged by 8.4%. On the other hand, in 2020, ICT services sector value added decreased marginally, while its employment increased, mainly driven by the computer and related activities subsector.
- Publication date
- 12 November 2021