The tertiary economic activity or sector is the most important in modern economies. It represents more than 60% of PIB in developed countries and employs most of the workforce of the world.
What is the tertiary economic activity or sector?
- Definition 1: the tertiary economic activity or service sector encompasses the production of services instead of end goods that meet the needs of individuals.
- Definition 2: the tertiary sector is composed of the “soft” parts of the economy, that is, activities where people offer their knowledge and time to improve the productivity, performance, potential, and sustainability of the economy.
Services are also known as intangible goods and include care, advice, experience, and discussion, among others.
The tertiary economic activity involves not only the provision of services to consumers (B2C) but also to other companies (B2B). For example, consulting services from a digital agency to an online store.
Examples of tertiary economic activities:
- Wholesale trade such as furniture and home furnishing, lumber and other construction materials, office equipment; medical, dental, and hospital equipment and supplies; household appliances and electrical and electronic goods; farm and garden machinery and sporting and recreational goods.
- Retail trade such as motor vehicle and parts dealers, furniture and home furnishings stores, electronics and appliance stores, grocery and internet retailers.
- Transportation and warehousing such as air, rail, water and truck transportation; transit and ground passenger transportation; pipeline transportation, postal service; couriers and messengers.
- Publishing industries, motion pictures and sound recording, telecommunications, data processing, and hosting.
- Finance and insurance.
- Real estate and rental and leasing.
- Professional, scientific, and technical services such as legal, accounting, architectural, engineering and marketing consulting services.
- Educational services.
- Health care and social assistance such as offices of physicians, outpatient care centers, and medical and diagnostic laboratories.
- Arts, entertainment, and recreation.
- Accommodation and food services such as hotels, casinos, special food services, drinking places, and restaurants.