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Title: Private investment, jobs and gross value added related to circular economy sectors

Status: Indicator

Coverage: EU Member States, 2015-2019

Source: Eurostat, 2022, European Commission, European Commission

The figure depicts the contribution over time of circular economy sector to investments, value added and jobs in the EU. Investments and value added are referred as percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EU economy, and jobs to the total number of jobs in the EU. The circular economy sectors cover mostly the collection of waste, recovery of materials, recycling, sale of waste/scrap and second-hand goods, and repair and reuse services — the sector classification does not fully comprehend all circular economy activities.

Data shows the so far limited contributing of the circular economy sectors to value added and jobs, and the limited investment level targeting the sectors. The progress for all indicators is slow but steady, with a 9% increase for investment, more than 2% for jobs and 5% for value added, between 2015 and 2019. 

The European Green Deal launched a concerted strategy for a climate-neutral, resource-efficient and competitive economy. A few months later, the 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan stated that scaling up the circular economy will be decisive for achieving this Green Deal vision. Moreover, it will also serve to leaving no one behind. Circular economy sectors such as recycling, repair and reuse, are job-intensive, and are therefore expected to contribute to increased local employment.

The Circular Economy Monitoring Framework, set up to measure the progress of the Circular Economy in the EU, includes a set of indicators to follow track of the competitiveness and innovation of circular economy sectors. This includes data on investments, jobs and value added, and on innovation. The assessment here focusses on the contribution of the circular economy to the first three aspects, based on official data from the Circular Economy Monitoring Framework.


  • Private investment, jobs and gross value added related to circular economy sectors. Private investments are measured by gross investment in tangible goods (whether bought from third parties or produced for own use), excluding investments in intangible and financial assets.

  • Jobs are measured as the number of persons employed. This includes persons working within the firm (including proprietors, partners working regularly in the unit and unpaid family workers) and outside the firm (who belong to and are paid by it). 

  • Gross value added is measured by gross value added at factor cost, i.e. gross income from operating activities after adjusting for subsidies and indirect taxes.

  • For more details, see definition of indicators at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/metadata/EN/cei_cie010_esmsip2.htm


  • The circular economy sectors are defined and approximated in terms of economic activity branches of the NACE Rev. 2 classification. See coverage at: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/8105938/8465062/cei_cie010_esmsip_NACE-codes.pdf

  • Data on investments and value added is referred to Gross Domestic Products; and jobs to total employment.


Data, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/databrowser/bookmark/250c0add-0021-483e-af93-a916b2d1df30?lang=en, based on Structural business statistics (SBS), https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/structural-business-statistics/database and National accounts: GDP and main components, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/products-datasets/-/nama_10_gdp;  Metadata, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/cache/metadata/EN/cei_cie010_esmsip2.htm

  • Unit: percentage to GDP or total employment

  • Temporal coverage: 2015-2019 (data also available since 2011, yet here we have aligned to the Circular Economy Monitoring Framework coverage).

  • Geographic coverage: EU27 and Member States.