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By Rudy Fenwick

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N. Ramu and Stuart D. Johnson. (Toronto: Maguillan, 1974), 120, table 2. 6. Service industries are equivalent to what economists refer to as the tertiary sector of the economy. Other sectors are the primary, which is equivalent to extractive industries, such as farming and mining, and the secondary, or transformative, which is equivalent to manufacturing industries. The tertiary sector encompasses all other economic activities: commerce, transportation, communication, and various types of services, including all public services provided by government.

Perhaps the most significant reason for increased female participation is long-term changes in occupational structure. Employment has moved away from jobs that were held almost exclusively by men, such as agriculture, toward jobs that have always had high levels of female participation, such as clerical or service occupations. These changes are chronicled in table 4. In 1901, agriculture was the single largest occupation in Canada, employing four in ten Canadian workers. By 1991, that figure was less than one in twenty.

Rather, the decline of employment in extractive industries has led to a growth of both transformative and service sector employment, especially in the European countries examined. By the 1970s, employment outside the extractive sector in these countries was evenly divided between the transformative and service sectors. The pattern of industrial change in Canada has been very similar to that of the United States. In contrast to Europe in the 1920s, the North American countries already had a higher percentage of employment in service industries than in transformative industries, and this gap has widened significantly ever since.

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Canadian Society (Acsus Papers) by Rudy Fenwick


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