United States of America - Economic sectors

The United States has a highly diversified economy with a mix of large and small companies and a variety of industries and services. Although relatively small when compared with the other sectors of the economy, American agriculture is highly diverse and well developed. The differences in climate, soil, and rainfall across the country allow for a great assortment of crops to be cultivated. Citrus products grow well in Florida and areas of California, while the Midwest is suited to raising wheat and corn, and areas of the Southeast produce the majority of the nation's tobacco and cotton. In overall terms, the main crops are wheat and other grains, corn, fruits, vegetables, and cotton. The main livestock products are beef, pork, poultry, dairy products, turkey, and fish. There is also a significant industry based on forest products such as timber. Most crops and livestock grown in the United States are used for domestic consumption, but the country also exports a considerable amount of products. Agriculture accounts for about 2.4 percent of total employment.

The United States remains the world's dominant industrial power. Like other economic sectors, industry in the United States is technologically sophisticated and includes a wide variety of different manufacturers and products. While industry has declined in relation to other

sectors, it has experienced steady growth. In 1999, industry grew by 2.4 percent. The leading industries are petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods , lumber, and mining. Industry employs 24.5 percent of the American workforce. One ongoing trend in industry is the increasing consolidation and diversification of companies. Larger corporations have absorbed other companies both in an effort to reduce competition and also to branch into new markets. In 1997, there were a total of 11,128 business mergers or acquisitions in the United States, with a total value of $906 billion. American firms were involved in 9 out of the world's 10 largest mergers from 1989 to 1999. Mergers were particularly common in industries such as oil and natural gas processing, consumer goods, and medical equipment. American industry has also branched out into new areas. For instance, companies such as General Electric or General Motors no longer concentrate solely on manufacturing, but engage in a variety of economic endeavors including media broadcasting, financial services and telecommunications. Among the world's largest industrial companies are the American firms General Electric, Exxon, IBM, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Philip Morris.

The service sector is the largest component of the American economy. The United States has established itself as a world leader in telecommunications, financial services, and information technology or IT (computer-based information systems and communications). The growth of IT has propelled the "new economy" of the United States, based less on manufacturing and more on information products and services. By 1999, one-third of all new investments in the United States were in IT-based companies. The nation's retail sector is also strong. Consumer spending on products and services has helped drive the economic growth of the past decade. Major American retailers such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target have developed new methods of marketing and sales that have revolutionized the retail market. Services employ 77 percent of American workers.

User Contributions:

Theruni Suraweera
Very informative. Contains all necessary information.Well written and trustworthy
Jon Danh
It is very interesting for me as the Immigrant American to learn how America's Economic Sectors have built this Strong Nation!

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