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Thread: Economy split up by Type of Activity

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Economy split up by Type of Activity

    This is the Three-sector model of divisions by type of activity, with the Primary sector of the economy, the Secondary sector of the economy, the Tertiary sector of the economy, and an extension, the Quaternary sector of the economy. Wikipedia currently does not have a separate article for the Quinary sector of the economy, though Sectors of Economy: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, Quaternary and Quinary mentions it.

    • 1. Primary sector: extraction and collection of natural resources: farming, forestry, hunting, fishing, mining, etc.
    • 2. Secondary sector: manufacturing, processing, and construction: light industry, heavy industry
    • 3. Tertiary sector: services: transportation, distribution, sale, etc.
      • 4. Quaternary sector: knowledge work: education, research and development, information technology, designing, journalism, financial planning, entertainment, etc.
        • 5. Quinary sector: leadership, research, etc.

    The boundaries between the sectors are not very well-defined, it must be noted.

    Looking at humanity's history, humanity started off with (1) dominant: first foraging (hunting, fishing, gathering, ...) and then farming.

    The Industrial Revolution made (2) dominant, and more recently, (3) has become dominant, especially the subset (4).

    Technological revolution

    Information Revolution

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Understanding Capitalism Part V: Evolution of the American Economy has the numbers for various sectors.

    It has a graph of agricultural vs. non-agricultural labor over 1800 - 1900:
    • 1800: 74% - 26%
    • 1840: 67% - 33%
    • 1900: 34% - 66%

    Also a graph of men's occupations: primary, secondary, tertiary (+quaternary +quinary)
    • 1900: 42% - 36% - 21%
    • 1960: 8% - 49% - 42%
    • 2000: 4% - 38% - 58%

    The precipitous drop in the primary sector is due to its heavy use of automation, like tractor-pulled plows and harvesting machines. The secondary sector is likewise getting automated, though not quite as fast. As to the remaining sectors, I have found this forecast:

    The Future of Employment (PDF)
    Will Your Job Be Done By A Machine? : Planet Money : NPR
    Jobs robots are most likely to take over - Business Insider
    Jobs that robots are least likely to take over - Business Insider
    The distribution is bimodal, approximately all or none, because of the way that the vulnerability to automation was assessed -- it was trained on all-or-nothing target values instead of continuous ones.

    Easy to automate:
    • Transportation and Material Moving (3)
    • Production (2)
    • Installation, Maintenance, and Repair (3)
    • Construction and Extraction (2)
    • Farming, Fishing, and Forestry (1)
    • Office and Administrative Support (3)
    • Sales and Related (3)

    Somewhat easy to automate:
    • Service (3, 4)

    Somewhat hard to automate:
    • Management, Business, and Financial (4, 5)

    Hard to automate:
    • Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (3, 4)
    • Education, Legal, Community Service, Arts, and Media (4, 5)
    • Computer, Engineering, and Science (4, 5)

    So (2) and a lot of (3) are likely to go the way of (1), with some of (3) and most of (4) and (5) being safe - at least unless strong AI becomes practical.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    See the oldest company in each country around the world

    Its classification of economy sectors:
    • Primary: Natural Resources
    • Secondary: Manufacturing & Processing
    • Tertiary: Services & Distribution
    • Quaternary: Knowledge & Information

    Primary includes farming, secondary includes food and drink, tertiary includes transport, like rail transport.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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