Changes Over Time And Space

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Comparing Employment Structures

The employment structure of a country shows how the labour force is divided between the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. Different countries have different employment structures. The employment structure of a given country can tell you quite a lot about its economy.
In the richest countries, for example, there will usually be more people working in the tertiary/quaternary sector than in the primary and secondary sectors. In the poorest countries, there tend to be more people working in the primary sector than in either the secondary or tertiary sectors.

Economic Sectors Changing Over Time And Space

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This essay considers how countries have changed and will change economically over time and space from pre-industry to post-industry and from LIC’s (low income countries) to HIC’s (high income countries). The changes considered will be; the way that the percentages of economic sectors change both between and within countries.

The normal and/or average occurrence of percentages e.g. UK are as follows: Pre-industry percentages are 70% primary, 20% secondary and 10% for tertiary, with the percentage of primary sectors on a steep decrease and the percentage of secondary and tertiary sectors on a steady rise. During the industrial era the percentages are 25% primary, 45% secondary and 30% tertiary, with the percentage of primary and secondary sectors now on a steady decrease and the percentage of tertiary sectors on a steep increase. Post-industry percentages are 10% primary, 30% secondary, 55% tertiary and 5% quaternary with the percentage of primary, secondary and tertiary sectors levelling out and the percentage of quaternary sectors on a steady increase.

The primary sector involves the exploitation of raw materials from the land, sea or air e.g. farming and Mining. The secondary sector involves the manufacturing of primary materials into finished products e.g. car building, food processing or construction. The tertiary sector involves the providing of services to individuals and other businesses e.g. teaching, banking, retail and nursing. The quaternary sector involves the generation and sharing of hi-tech knowledge e.g. medical research and technological advance.

  • Pre-industrial Phase – The primary sector leads the economy and may employ more than two-thirds of the working population. Agriculture is by far the most important activity.
  • Industrial Phase – The secondary and tertiary increase in productivity. As they do so the primary sector declines in relative importance. The secondary sector peaks during this phase, but rarely provides jobs for more than half of the workforce.
  • Post-industrial Phase – The tertiary sector is clearly the most important sector. The primary and secondary sectors continue their relative decline. The quaternary sector begins to appear.

The USA is made up of 10% primary sector, 15% secondary sector and 75% tertiary sector, this shows that it is an HIC. The UK is made up of 10% primary sector, 30% secondary sector and 60% tertiary sector, this shows that it is an HIC. France is made up of 10% primary sector, 27% secondary sector and 63% tertiary sector, this shows that it is an HIC. Italy is made up of 10% primary sector, 50% secondary sector and 40% tertiary sector, this shows that it is an HIC. The CIS is made up of 13% primary sector, 43% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is an HIC. Japan is made up of 12% primary sector, 25% secondary sector and 63% tertiary sector, this shows that it is an HIC.

Mexico is made up of 44% primary sector, 12% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Peru is made up of 44% primary sector, 12% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Brazil is made up of 44% primary sector, 12% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Ghana is made up of 44% primary sector, 12% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Nigeria is made up of 60% primary sector, 12% secondary sector and 28% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Egypt is made up of 45% primary sector, 11% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Kenya is made up of 63% primary sector, 11% secondary sector and 26% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. India is made up of 70% primary sector, 10% secondary sector and 20% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. Bangladesh is made up of 65% primary sector, 15% secondary sector and 20% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC. China is made up of 44% primary sector, 12% secondary sector and 44% tertiary sector, this shows that it is not yet an HIC.

The overall picture tells me that on average north (being where HIC’s are) there is a high percentage of tertiary sectors and south (being where LIC’s are) there is a high percentage of primary sectors.

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