Since the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, agriculture has been in decline in Luxembourg, and most farms are small, family-owned operations. Most foodstuffs consumed in Luxembourg are imported, while many of the country's agricultural products are exported. Only a small percentage of the population remains engaged in agriculture and the number of farms continues to decline. In 2000 agriculture contributed just 1 percent of the nation's GDP, and in 1998 it employed 2.5 percent of the workforce.
For most of the 20th century, industry provided the nation's wealth, with steel production forming the core of Luxembourg's economy. However, during the 1970s, it became difficult for local steel manufacturers to compete with companies from around the world who were producing steel more cheaply. This difficulty led to a period of restructuring and reform, during which smaller companies were consolidated into a single major steel group, ARBED, which is a highly productive steel maker. Thus, despite declining, the steel industry remains a major feature in the Grand Duchy's economy.
Efforts at diversification in industry have had some success. Major chemical and rubber manufacturing companies have built plants in Luxembourg. Significantly, these include foreign-owned companies, such as DuPont Chemicals, Goodyear Tire, and the Guardian Glass Company. Industry contributed 30 percent of the GDP in 2000 and employed 14.3 percent of the workforce in 1998.
The real growth in Luxembourg's economy has been in the services sector, especially in banking and financial services, which have experienced dramatic growth, making the nation one of Europe's top financial centers. Information services have also grown dramatically, making the nation one of the world's largest satellite service providers, while its development as a major Internet service provider continues to grow quickly. The services sector contributed 69 percent to the GDP in 2000 and employed 83.2 percent of the workforce in 1998.
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