In Germany, the transition of transport towards sustainable mobility is often discussed in connection with jobs and employment. The employees in Germany of the automotive industry are an important argument for bringing about a socially acceptable structural change. Of course, alternative and environmentally friendly modes of transport such as cycling have both high economic significance and job potential, too.
The Wuppertal Institute and the Institute for Work and Technology of the Westfälische Hochschule have conducted a study about the cycling economy. The study "Branchenstudie Fahrradwirtschaft in Deutschland: Unternehmen, Erwerbstätige, Umsatz" (German only) was commissioned by the three German business associations BVZF e. V., VSF e. V. and ZIV e. V. It has systematically determined employment and turnover of the bicycle economy in Germany.
The three main markets of the bicycle economy include
In these markets, the researchers determined employment and turnover by means of the public tax and employee's statistics. The study also covered sectors upstream and downstream of the supply chain, most notably cycle tourism.
One result of the study is, that the bicycle industry, retail and services is a growth market and can operate almost without tax concessions or subsidies. All three main markets (manufacturing, trade and services) have recorded growing turnover and employment in recent years. However, the most important sub-market in terms of employment is cycle tourism, which has also been booming for years. In certain upstream and downstream sectors (namely infrastructure and administration), it is also apparent that the promotion of cycling incurs little cost to the public sector.