Business Services, NEC

SIC 7389

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This group covers establishments primarily engaged in business services, not elsewhere classified, such as bondspersons, drafting services, lecture bureaus, notaries public, sign painting, speakers' bureaus, water softening services, and miscellaneous auctioneering services, on a flat fee or commission basis.

The miscellaneous business services industry encompasses a broad range of specialties, ranging from baby shoe bronzing services and yacht brokers to window trimmers and playwrights. Establishments classified in this industry are generally engaged in providing services that do not generate a sufficient amount of national revenue for the U.S. government to track alone. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, more than 1 million establishments operated in this fragmented industry. Together they garnered about more than $275 billion in revenue. Government statistics indicated that about two-thirds of the companies classified in this industry were corporations, with the remainder either sole proprietorships or partnerships. Some of the largest categories in terms of annual revenues were financial services ($35.3 billion); personal service agents, brokers, and bureaus ($10.3 billion); design services ($6.7 billion); telephone services ($5.8 billion); interior design services ($5.1 billion); promoters of shows and exhibits ($4.6 billion); telemarketing services ($4.4 billion); packaging and boxes ($3.8 billion); and fund raising organizations ($3.3 billion).

States representing the majority of business service companies were California, Texas, Florida, and New York. Other states with significant numbers included Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina, Washington, and Colorado. Together they represented more than 60 percent of market share and sales.

While the employment outlook varies by segment, the entire industry employment tends to rise and fall with the ebbs and flows of the overall economy. At the end of the first decade of the 2000s, the U.S. economy was in a recession after a subprime lending crisis, which spilled over to create a credit crunch, severely inhibiting such industries as real estate, construction, and auto sales. In general, the weak economy led to job losses and weak consumer spending. Therefore, in this highly diverse industry, occupations like building inspectors were more directly affected by the economy than playwrights or sewer inspectors. A few major occupational groups, such as switchboard operators and telephone message specialists, dropped in number as certain services became less relevant to advancing technology. For example, the corporate and management training industry benefited from increased corporate budgets dedicated to training during the early years of the first decade of the 2000s.

Among the myriad companies that were involved in providing miscellaneous business services, leaders included such diverse firms as inventory specialists RGIS LLC (Auburn Hills, Michigan), with $1.7 billion in revenues in 2011; VIP Event Services Inc. (Arlington, Texas), Briggs Freeman Sotheby's Decoration Co. (Dallas, Texas). In 2008 Dun & Bradstreet reported that the majority of the 1.36 million establishments in the industry were small, employing between one and four people, with fewer than 25 percent employed 50 or more workers. New York City-based Time Warner Inc. reported 2008 sales of $46.98 billion. Sears, Roebuck and Co. of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, reported 2008 earnings of $46.77. Houston-based Waste Management Inc. followed with 2008 revenues of nearly $13.39 billion. Unisys Corp. placed fourth in the industry with 2008 sales of $5.23 billion.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in the subsectors of this industry was expected to grow about 14 percent annually between 2010 and 2020 as the nation began to recover from the economic recession at the end of the first decade of the 2000s. Occupations related to health care, personal care, construction, and assisting the aged and other disadvantaged populations were expected to be the fastest growing.

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