The economy of Geneva is mostly service-oriented. The city has a significant and historic financial industry that specializes in private banking (managing assets worth around $1 trillion USD) and international trade financing.
JT Worldwide (JTI), Mediterranean Shipping Company, Vitol, Gunvor, and Mercuria Energy Group have their international headquarters in Geneva. Merck Serono, SITA, Société Générale de Surveillance, STMicroelectronics, and Weatherford International are among the companies involved. Many other multinational corporations, including Caterpillar, DuPont, and Cargill, have international headquarters in the city, as do Take Two Interactive, Electronic Arts, INVISTA, Procter & Gamble, and Oracle Corporation. Hewlett Packard’s headquarters for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East are at Meyrin, near Geneva. PrivatAir’s headquarters are at Meyrin, near Geneva.
Watchmaking has a lengthy history (Baume et Mercier, Charriol, Chopard, Franck Muller, Patek Philippe, Gallet, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Rolex, Universal Genève, Raymond Weil, Omega, Vacheron Constantin, Frédérique Constant, and so on). Firmenich and Givaudan, two prominent worldwide makers of flavors and perfumes, have their headquarters and primary manufacturing facilities in Geneva.
The private sector is organized into many employer unions, such as the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève (FER Genève) and the Fédération des métiers du bâtiment (FMB).
Many individuals also work in the various international organizations’ headquarters in Geneva (about 22,233 in March 2012).
The Geneva Motor Show is one of the world’s most major car events. Palexpo, a massive conference center near to the International Airport, hosts the event.
Geneva was named the world’s fourth most expensive city in 2009. Geneva climbed four spots from seventh position the previous year. Geneva is placed fourth, after Tokyo, Osaka, and Moscow, which are first, second, and third, respectively. Geneva also defeated Hong Kong, which finished sixth.
Geneva has a 6.3 percent unemployment rate in 2011. In 2008, there were five persons working in the main economic sector, and around three enterprises were active in this industry. In the secondary industry, there were 9,783 people working and 1,200 firms. The tertiary industry employed 134,429 people and supported 12,489 firms. The municipality had 91,880 individuals who were working in some capacity, with females accounting for 47.7 percent of the workforce.
The total number of full-time equivalent jobs in 2008 was 124,185. The primary sector employed four people, all of whom worked in agriculture. The secondary industry employed 9,363 people, with manufacturing accounting for 4,863 (51.9 percent) and construction accounting for 4,451 (47.5 percent). The tertiary sector employed 114,818 people. In the tertiary sector, 16,573 or 14.4 percent worked in wholesale or retail sales or motor vehicle repair, 3,474 or 3.0 percent worked in goods movement and storage, 9,484 or 8.3 percent worked in a hotel or restaurant, 4,544 or 4.0 percent worked in the information industry, 20,982 or 18.3 percent worked in the insurance or financial industry, 12,177 or 10.6 percent worked as technical professionals or scientists, 10,007 or 8.7 percent worked in education, and 15,029 worked
In 2000, 95,190 people commuted into the municipality, while 25,920 people commuted away. The municipality is a net importer of employees, with around 3.7 workers coming for every one leaving. Around 13.8 percent of the workforce in Geneva is from outside Switzerland, whereas 0.4 percent of the natives travel out of the country for employment. 38.2 percent of the working population utilized public transit to go to work, while 30.6 percent drove themselves.