The Ecosystem of Global Commerce: A Study of the World’s Biggest Industries


Is it love that makes the world go around? Unfortunately not.

Is it all about money? Not really.

Instead, it’s trade and commerce that keeps the world spinning. Together, they’re the global heartbeat that drives economies and connects cultures.

Goods and services flow, fostering innovation and prosperity. Supply meets demand, forging interdependence that fuels growth. Trade agreements and digital platforms propel exchanges, making trade and commerce the engines of interconnected progress.

But what are the biggest industries that fuel this global ecosystem? That’s why the researchers from OnDeck decided to find out. They analyzed LinkedIn data, using the Company Search filters to find out the most popular industries in every country in the world and every US state.

Let’s take a close look at what they found out.

The world’s most popular industry

With the highest LinkedIn headcount in 52 out of 96 major global economies, manufacturing is the world’s most prominent industry.

Of all the countries included in the study, Taiwan has the highest proportion of manufacturing businesses (16%). Renowned for advanced technology, Taiwan’s manufacturing industry produces a substantial share of the world’s semiconductors, electronics, and machinery. The Hsinchu Science Park, a technology hub known as Taiwan’s Silicon Valley, is an outstanding example of 21st-century manufacturing innovation.

The most disproportionately popular industries in every country

Economies are strange beasts and often operate on their own idiosyncratic logic. Many smaller countries have become focal points for major industries, turning them into global players with international reach and influence.

Take Luxembourg, for example. It’s more than 10 times smaller than neighboring Belgium, or slightly smaller than the US state of Rhode Island. Yet, thanks to its large proportion of banking and investment firms, it leads the world in GDP per capita and contributes significantly to the global financial services industry.

The most popular industry in the US

According to the data studied by OnDeck, 32 US states have more manufacturing businesses operating than any other type of business. Collectively, they contribute a whopping $2.3 trillion to the US economy.
Construction is the biggest business in Texas. The construction industry in Texas is dynamic, shaped by urban expansion and infrastructure demands. Booming cities like Houston, Austin, and Dallas drive commercial and residential construction. Hurricane resilience and sustainable practices are prioritized, making Texas a hub for innovative construction techniques and developments.

Most disproportionately popular industry in every US state

Hospitality is the most disproportionately popular industry in Hawaii, which is no surprise due to its popularity as a travel destination for tourists and holidaymakers.

The people of Oregon take their physical and mental health very seriously. Their love for self-care has made wellness services the state’s most disproportionately popular industry.

Religion is big business in seven US states, including four of the country’s most religious territories: Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Veterinary services are the most disproportionately popular industry in the state of Alaska. The state has prioritized attracting more vets over the past few years. It was a response to concerns of Alaska’s native communities, which declared the “lack of access to veterinary care as an ongoing public health crisis.” Over 200 communities in the state had no access to a regular vet, putting people and animals at risk.

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