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Topic – Four Economic Sectors

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Four Economic Sectors

1. The Primary Sector

A large farm field in Alberta, Canada

This shows an Alberta oil pump jack

This sector is based on gathering natural resources that are raw materials. (Raw materials are things that are used to create other things.) Mining for oil and metals is part of the primary sector. Agriculture (farming), fishing, and the forestry industry are also included in the primary sector.


2. The Secondary Sector

A production line packaging canned fish

A robot assembly line in an automotive production factory

This sector includes businesses that manufacture (put together, build, or create) products. For example, companies that build cars or furniture are part of the secondary sector. Also in this sector are businesses that process raw materials. Processing involves taking raw materials and making them suitable for use. Taking freshly caught fish and turning them into the packaged fish products we buy in grocery stores is an example of processing.


3. The Tertiary Sector

A banker can provide financial advice

A lineup of taxi cars for service

This sector includes businesses that provide services. Stores provide the service of making products available to consumers. Banks provide services such as lending money to people and providing financial advice. Airlines, trains, and taxi companies provide transportation services.


4. The Quaternary Sector

Colleges and Universities are examples of educational institutions

A team of computer engineers work to discover new knowledge

This sector is sometimes called the “information sector” or “knowledge sector.” Businesses and organizations in this sector include educational institutions (such as colleges and universities), which provide knowledge to students. Research and development (sometimes called “R and D”) is also part of this sector. People who work in research and development discover new knowledge and find ways to use it. For example, scientists who try to find cures for diseases and people who develop new computer software are involved in research and development.

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