United Kingdom - Economic sectors

The economic sectors of the United Kingdom follow the pattern of most economically developed nations. The economy is dominated by the service sector, while industry and agriculture continue to decline in overall importance. Services are dominated by the financial sector and telecommunications. British firms have done especially well in overseas markets. During the last half of the 1900s, industrial decline was greatest. While many nations around the world invested in new technology and built new manufacturing plants, British firms were handicapped by a heavy tax burden and high labor costs. By the 1970s, few British firms were able to compete. However, during the 1980s, government privatization programs and legislation that reduced taxes and liberalized corporate law helped strengthen British industry. Corporations in specific industries, including the aerospace, energy, and steel sectors, are competitive and include some of the world's largest international firms. British agriculture

is highly productive and is able to meet most of the kingdom's domestic needs.

The agricultural sector declined significantly during the 1900s. It now accounts for only a small percentage of the nation's workforce and GDP. In 1999, agriculture and fishing accounted for 2 percent of employment and 1.7 percent of GDP. The industrial sector has also declined in recent years. In 1999, industry employed 22.1 percent of the workforce and contributed 25.3 percent of the king-dom's GDP. Throughout the 1990s industrial production, with the exception of the energy sector, declined. In 1999 industrial production decreased by 0.3 percent. In the

same year, the service sector accounted for nearly 76 percent of employment and 73 percent of GDP.

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