What are the basic industries?

The basic industries are those that are vital to the manufacturing, industrial and overall economic well-being of any nation or community. Most countries have similar basic industries, but the make-up of the list differs by region, with the dominant companies and products representing those in that particular country’s economy. In some cases, basic industries provide necessities while in others they focus on luxury items and services. Most countries have similar basic industries; however, the make-up of their lists differs by region, with dominant companies and products representing those in that particular country’s economy.

Basic Industries as defined by BLS

The primary sector of economic activity is composed of agriculture, mining, and construction. The secondary sector includes manufacturing, utilities, wholesale trade, retail trade and transportation. The tertiary sector provides services such as banking and government. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics) BLS breaks these three sectors down into 20 broad industry classifications.

Agriculture Industry

The agricultural industry includes crop farming, animal husbandry, and fishing. Since agriculture tends to be tied closely to many of our other key industries, it’s often treated as a kind of basic industry—especially if you divide it into its sub-industries. Agriculture is usually considered an important part of every country’s economy; in developing countries, farming is also an extremely important source of employment.

Mining Industry

Mining is a key component of many modern economies, as it allows access to resources that are critical for industrial production and essential in everyday life. What is most striking about mining industry statistics is how concentrated they remain, however. More than 70 percent of total annual mineral extraction comes from just 10 countries, according to data compiled by Statista.

Construction Industry

Construction is a very large and diverse industry. The four largest sub-sectors of construction are residential building, non-residential building, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors. Each of these sub-sectors employs thousands of workers across a variety of sectors such as business services; manufacturing; information; finance and insurance; professional, scientific, technical services; natural resources and mining; transportation, warehousing, communication utilities (US), social assistance (US), arts entertainment recreation (US); community activities & publicly financed institutions (US); education services as well as hospitals( US). A growing trend in construction is green building. Green building is an architecture that minimizes environmental impact by increasing energy efficiency while still meeting human needs.

Manufacturing Industry

The manufacturing industry is one of America’s biggest contributors to GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. As of 2017, approximately 12.3 million jobs were working in American factories producing vehicles, textiles, clothing and paper products as well as construction equipment and furniture. The most common occupation in manufacturing is machine operator at 21 percent, followed by first-line supervisors at 17 percent and material moving workers at 14 percent. Average annual wages for manufacturing work were $43,260 in May 2018 according to BLS statistics.

Wholesale Trade Industry

The industry comprises establishments, not classified to any other major industry, primarily engaged in wholesale distribution of durable and nondurable goods. Durable goods are those that last at least three years. Nondurable goods include paper and allied products; chemicals; clothing; food, beverages, and tobacco products; textiles; furniture and homefurnishings; jewelry, watches, clocks, and gems; motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts (except tires); hardware, plumbing & heating equipment & supplies.

Retail Trade Industry

The Retail Trade industry has several parts, such as: food and beverage stores; clothing and accessories stores; general merchandise stores; health and personal care stores; sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores; furniture and home furnishings stores; electronics and appliance stores. The industry typically provides low wages to workers but high levels of benefits. 

Transportation & Warehousing Industry

The transportation and warehousing industry is made up of businesses that move people or goods from one place to another. It includes trucking, railroads, pipeline companies, and airlines. This industry also includes all of their support activities, such as handling cargo at ports and airports. The U.S.

Information Industry

An information industry is any industry that deals with information, communication and digital technologies. Examples of information industries include advertising, computers, broadcasting, consulting, consumer electronics and telecommunications. The term is most commonly used in connection with high technology companies and start-ups (typically those providing content or a service over the Internet), but can also be applied to more traditional companies whose core business involves digitized products or processes.

Finance & Insurance Industry

The Finance and Insurance industry is one of many business sectors that have been heavily impacted by outsourcing. Even though these industries may not rely on face-to-face customer interactions to make money, they still need people to do everyday tasks such as filing paperwork, data entry, making bank deposits and answering phones. In fact, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2012, over 6 million jobs were available in these fields alone.

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