Snapshot of Iowa’s Professional and Business Services Sector

 

What industries and activities are included within the professional and business services sector?

The professional and business services “supersector” comprises three smaller sectors: professional, scientific, and technical services; management of companies and enterprises; and administrative support and waste management and remediation services.

Professional, scientific, and technical service firms provide an array of services including legal, accounting, engineering, advertising, and research and development.

The management of companies and enterprises sector includes holding companies and other establishments that oversee or administer planning and operations for firms.

Administrative support and waste management and remediation businesses provide routine services to other firms including personnel services, security, collection, cleaning, and waste disposal.

Administrative and support services have the largest employment share in the supersector, with 47 percent of the jobs.

Figure 1. Composition of Iowa's Professional and Business Services Sector
Figure 1. Composition of Iowa’s Professional and Business Services Sector

 

How many of these types of firms are located in Iowa?

Iowa had 10,366 professional and business service firms with employees on payroll in 2014 and another 34,258 firms operating as “nonemployer” establishments with no paid employees other than the owner(s).

Nearly half of the 10,366 firms with employees on payroll are organized as S-corporations, followed by regular corporations at 22 percent.

 

How does the professional and business services supersector compare in size to the rest of Iowa’s economy?

The professional and business supersector’s 188,659 full-time and part-time jobs accounted for 9.3 percent of all Iowa jobs in 2014. In terms of establishments, the supersector accounted for roughly 16 percent of all firms.

Measured by gross domestic product (GDP), which includes payments to workers and returns to owners and investors, the professional and business services sector contributed $10.6 billion toward Iowa’s economy in 2014, accounting for 6.3 percent of total GDP.

Table 1: Professional and Business Services Sector Shares of Iowa Totals in 2014
Table 1: Professional and Business Services Sector Shares of Iowa Totals in 2014

 

Who works in Iowa’s professional and business services supersector?

Given its broad definition, the supersector employs a diverse array of workers in both high-paying and low-paying jobs. Key occupations within the professional, technical, and scientific services sector include business and financial occupations, computer and mathematical occupations, and architecture and engineering occupations. Median annual pay for all occupations in that sector was $46,950 in 2014. Management and office and administrative occupations comprise the largest share of the management of companies and enterprises sector. Median pay for that sector was $50,550. In the administrative and support and the waste management and remediation sectors, key occupations include office and administrative support and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance jobs. Median pay within this sector was $25,800.

 

A version of this article was published in the Fall 2016 edition of CIRAS News. To read more of that edition or others, please explore elsewhere on our website.