75 % of the gross value added produced in Hessen is from the service sector. The most significant of these are: credit and insurance, retail, transport, communications and business related services. The largest industrial divisions include: chemical and pharmaceutical, vehicle construction, electro-technology and mechanical engineering. In particular, the manufacturing industry is internationally oriented with exports from this sector achieving about 50 %.
Three industrial companies are among the ten largest employers in Hessen: Volkswagen AG, Continental and Opel Automobile GmbH. Opel in Rüsselsheim has one of the world's most cutting edge production facilities which outputs around 150,000 cars annually.
The German Railway AG and the Deutsche Post Group employ about 45,000 in Hessen. And with 20,000 employees in retail, the REWE Group is also very strong in Hessen.
The core: small- and medium-sized companies with up to 250 employees shape the economy of Hessen. Companies of this size account for more than 90 % of all firms. They are family-owned companies and startups, trades and craftsmen, as well as creative agencies. They are as diverse as the region itself. They are the main contributors to the economic and social prosperity in Hessen. Nearly two-thirds of the entire labor force and 80 % of all trainees are employed by small to mid-sized companies. A total of 350,000 people work in crafts and trades.