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Professional and Business Services
The administrative infrastructure that supports businesses with specialized skills

Professional Services Data and Trends

Professional Services Data and Trends

Trade Balance

The United States enjoyed a significant $114 billion trade surplus in professional and business services in 2019. This category of services encompasses many sectors, including legal, accounting, consulting, research and development, architecture and engineering, and advertising. U.S. exports in professional and business services reached $189 billion in 2019. Imports totaled $76 billion.

Line chart showing professional services exports, imports, and trade balance from 2010 to 2019.

Most U.S. trade in professional and business services is with Europe, which received 55 percent of U.S. exports in this industry in 2019.  About half of U.S. professional and business services imports came from Europe. The Asia-Pacific region attracted close to one-fourth of U.S. exports and accounted for 31 percent of U.S. imports. 

Pie chart showing U.S. professional services exports by region in 2019.
Pie chart showing U.S. professional services imports by region in 2019.

Employment and Wages

In 2019, over 9.3 million people worked in the professional and business services industry in the United States. Roughly 23 percent of those jobs were in the computer systems design and related services sector, which leads the industry in employment. Architecture and engineering and consulting services each employed 16 percent of individuals in this industry. These jobs may be either full-time or part-time. 

Bar chart showing U.S. employment in professional and business services by industry subsector in 2019.

The average annual wage across all professional and business services is relatively high at $85,720. The mean annual wage for each sector within this industry, as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, exceeded the average for all occupations of $53,490 in 2019. The bottom line is that U.S. jobs in professional services generally offer a very competitive wage compared with other sectors of the economy.

Bar chart showing mean annual U.S. wages in each industry subsector under professional and business services in 2019.

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