By far the largest sector of the economy in terms of output and employment is the service and commerce sector. This sector grew rapidly during the last part of the 20th century, creating many new jobs and more than offsetting the slight loss of jobs in manufacturing industries. In 1998 commerce and service industries generated 72 percent of the GDP and employed 75 percent of the U.S. workforce. Most of these jobs are classified as white collar, and many require advanced education. They include many high-paying jobs in financing, banking, education, and health services, as well as lower-paying positions that require little educational background, such as retail store clerks, janitors, and fast-food restaurant workers.
The service sector is extremely diverse. It includes an assortment of private businesses and government agencies that provide a wide spectrum of services to the U.S. public. Services industries can be very different from each other, ranging from health-care providers to vacation resorts to automobile repair shops. Although it would be almost impossible to list every kind of service industry operating in the United States, many of these businesses fall into one of several large service categories. "USA" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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