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Service Industries Essay

4312 words - 18 pages

In the U

In the U.S. economy, jobs can be categorized into sectors, which can then be split into divisions, each of which include various industries. There are two major sectors in the U.S. economy, as identified by the U.S. Standard Industry Classification System: the goods-producing sector and the service-producing sector. The goods-producing sector includes agriculture, forestry, and fishing; mining; construction; and manufacturing. The service-producing sector includes the divisions of (1) transportation, communications, and utilities; (2)wholesale trade; (3) retail trade; (4) finance, insurance, and real estate; (5) public administration; and (6) services. This sixth group-the ...view middle of the document...

Alternately, the services division activities can be described by their economic activities as physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and other experiential activities. Physical activities involve working with objects; examples include repairing cars, landscaping, cutting hair, or preparing a meal. Intellectual activities involve providing education or training, such as at a university or trade school. The aesthetic activities entail providing consumers with artistic or visual experiences; museums, theater performances, art shows, and musical performances are examples. Finally, other experiential activities involve providing customers with recreation, such as in amusement and theme parks, zoos, or campgrounds.

A final way in which to categorize services is by what is transformed through the service. A service may transform a physical object, which occurs when something is repaired, altered, or improved. Having an article of clothing custom-made, a room remodeled, or an appliance repaired would involve transforming a physical object. Service division jobs may also change a consumer. Examples of changes to consumers are education, whereby the consumer learns knowledge or skills; health care, in which a person's health is improved; or personal services, such as when a hairstylist cuts a consumer's hair. A change to an organization is a third type of transformation involved in the service industry. For instance, a management consulting firm may make changes to an organization's structure or business processes to improve it. The final set of jobs in this categorization captures those professions in which there is no apparent object. For example, when an attorney provides legal representation to a client, or in professional sports competitions a service is provided, even though no specific object can be identified.


Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that more than 97 percent of the jobs added to U.S. payrolls from 1990 to 2002 were provided by the service-producing sector. In 1984, the number of jobs in manufacturing was relatively comparable to the number of jobs in the services, but by 1999, the service industry employed about twice as many individuals as manufacturing or government.

The three industries within the services division that experienced the most growth in the last decade have been (1) business services, (2) health care, and (3) social services. The business services areas in which the largest number of jobs were gained were personnel supply and computer services. The personnel supply area includes organizations such as temporary employment agencies, traditional employment agencies, and other organizations that supply labor to other companies. The computer services industry includes mass-produced software, custom programming, custom computer systems design, and computer leasing. The primary reason for growth in both of these areas has been changes in business...

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