Enterprise deaths

In 2012, a total of 24 920 enterprises with 58 806 employed persons were closed down. Measured by the number of active enterprises this equals to an enterprise death rate of 6.1%.

In terms of the effect on employment, an average of 2.4 jobs (for self-employed persons and employees) was affected per enterprise death. The highest average number of employed persons affected by enterprise deaths was recorded in the economic activities “Mining and quarrying” (5.3), “Construction” (2.9) and “Accommodation and food service activities” (2.9).

Analyzing the death rate by different economic branches it can be revealed that the 2012 rate was higher (6.4%) in the services sector (sections G-S, NACE Rev.2, excluding 64.2 "Management activities of holding companies") than in industry and construction (sections B-F; 4.8%). At the level of NACE Rev.2 sections, above-average death rates were recorded in the activities “Transportation and storage” (8.3%), “Accommodation and food service activities” (8.1%) and “Financial and insurance activities” (7.7%). The lowest shares of deaths enterprises were registered in the activities “Mining and quarrying” (1.1%), “Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities” (1.7%) and “Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply” (2.5%).

An examination of enterprise deaths in 2012 by legal form shows that sole proprietorships did have the largest share (74.1%); limited liability companies are in the second place (around 14.5%) and partnerships made up the remaining share (around 11.5%). Also sole proprietorship enterprises had the highest death rate (6.9%), whereas the rate was 5.2% for partnerships and only 4.3% for limited liability companies. With regard to the average number of persons employed per enterprise death, the number for sole proprietorships (2.0) is relatively low compared with that of limited liability companies (2.9) and of partnerships and other legal forms (4.1).

Analysis of enterprise deaths in 2012 by employee size class show that almost 50 percent of the enterprises that closed down (56.4%) were in the "0 employees" size group; these enterprises also had the highest death rate (8.6%). 36.1% of deaths were enterprises with between 1 and 4 employees, while enterprises with between 5 and 9 or with 10 or more employees accounted for only around 7.5% of all closed enterprises in total.

A higher-than-average death rate among the provinces had Vienna (6.7%). In 2012, it was 0.6 percentage points above the average death rate. In percentage terms 27.0% of the enterprise deaths accounted for Vienna. Lower Austria had 16.0% of the deaths; Upper Austria was on the third place (14.3%). Very low death rates existed for Tyrol (5.1%), Burgenland (5.7%) and Vorarlberg (5.8).

The results by gender show that around two thirds (69.2%) of the sole proprietorships closed down in 2012 were owned by men. The death rates of enterprises which were founded by women was 6.6% and therefore lower than the male founders closing rate (7.1%).

Development of enterprise deaths over time (2004 to 2012)

In total, enterprise deaths increased by more than the half (43.5%) from 2004 to 2012. However, the number of enterprise deaths was below that of enterprise births till 2009. In 2010 the death rate went over the birth rate.

Regarding the development by economic activity in this eight-year observation period, the increase in the number of deaths was highest in the following branches: “Human health and social work activities” (+138.9%), “Financial and insurance activities” (+151.1%) and “Other service activities” (+91.1%).

An analysis by legal form illustrates that limited liability companies that died increased more than on average over this time period (+93.7%). By contrast, the number of deaths that concerned sole proprietorships or partnerships (and other legal forms) increased marginal from 2004 to 2012 (+28.4% and +41.3%).

Observing the trends of enterprise deaths by employee size class it is shown that the number of cessations without employees highly (+71.7%) increased. Enterprise deaths that had between 1 and 4 employees only slightly increased (+16.4%). The number of closures by enterprises with between 5 and 9 or with 10 or more employees increased marginal (+9.2% and +12.8% respectively).

The results by gender (for sole proprietorships only) reveal that the number of closures owned by men increased higher-than-average over time (+57.3% vs. +34.8% for sole proprietorships owned by women).

Enterprise deaths 2004-2012
Enterprise deaths 2004-2012 by legal forms
Enterprise deaths 2004-2012 by employee size classes
Enterprise deaths 2004-2012 by provinces
Enterprise deaths 2004-2012 by NUTS3-Region
Enterprise deaths 2004-2012 by gender of the sole proprietor


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