service industry


service industry
Industry that provides services rather than goods.

Economists divide the products of all economic activity into two broad categories, goods and services. Industries that produce goods (tangible objects) include agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction. Service industries include everything else: banking, communications, wholesale and retail trade, all professional services such as engineering and medicine, all consumer services, and all government services. The proportion of the world economy devoted to services rose rapidly in the 20th century. In the U.S., the service sector accounted for more than half the gross domestic product in 1929, two-thirds in 1978, and more than three-quarters in 1993. As increases in automation facilitate productivity, a smaller workforce is able to produce more goods, and the service functions of distribution, management, finance, and sales become relatively more important.

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      an industry in that part of the economy that creates services rather than tangible objects. Economists divide all economic activity into two broad categories, goods and services. Goods-producing industries are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and construction; each of them creates some kind of tangible object. Service industries include everything else: banking, communications, wholesale and retail trade, all professional services such as engineering, computer software development, and medicine, nonprofit economic activity, all consumer services, and all government services, including defense and administration of justice. A services-dominated economy is characteristic of developed countries. In less-developed countries most people are employed in primary activities such as agriculture and mining.

      The proportion of the world economy devoted to services grew steadily during the 20th century. In the United States, for example, the service sector accounted for more than half the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1929, two-thirds in 1978, and more than three-quarters in 1993. In the early 21st century, service industries accounted for more than three-fifths of the global GDP and employed more than one-third of the labour force worldwide.

      The simplest explanation for the growth of service industries is that goods production has become increasingly mechanized. Because machines allow a smaller workforce to produce more tangible goods, the service functions of distribution, management, finance, and sales become relatively more important. Growth in the service sector also results from a large increase in government employment.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • service industry — ➔ industry * * * service industry UK US noun [C] ECONOMICS ► all the businesses that provide services, or a particular group of these businesses: »It is the service industry that accounts for the most jobs in Utah. »Job gains in service… …   Financial and business terms

  • service industry — service industries N COUNT A service industry is an industry such as banking or insurance that provides a service but does not produce anything …   English dictionary

  • service industry — service .industry n [U and C] an industry that provides a service rather than a product, for example insurance or advertising …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • service industry — service ,industry noun count an industry that provides services instead of producing goods, for example banks, hospitals, and hotels …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • service industry — ► NOUN ▪ a business that provides a service for a customer, but is not involved in manufacturing …   English terms dictionary

  • service industry — noun an industry that provides services rather than tangible objects • Hypernyms: ↑industry • Hyponyms: ↑management consulting * * * ˈservice industry 7 [service industry] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • service industry — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms service industry : singular service industry plural service industries an industry that provides services instead of producing goods, for example banks, hospitals, and hotels …   English dictionary

  • service industry — noun An industry that does not produce any goods, but only provides a service such as a bank or insurance company …   Wiktionary

  • service industry — noun (C, U) an industry that provides a service such as insurance, bank accounts, or advertising rather than a product …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • service industry — / sɜ:vɪs ˌɪndəstri/ noun an industry which does not produce raw materials or manufacture products but offers a service (such as banking, retailing or accountancy) …   Dictionary of banking and finance


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