about / contact / guestbook / maillist / policy / sitemap / shop / learn on the internet
You are here: home > geotopics > employment structures

Employment structures menu
How can employment be classified?
Employment Structures

[image - employment structure for The UK ]
Employment structure for the UK - An MEDC

Employment Structures

Online Activities
[Online activities]: n Activities related to this topic
[Podcast]: n Audio file for playback on mobile devices and personal computers

Right click on the link above and select save link as


How can employment be classified?
There are four types of job. These are primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary jobs.

Primary jobs involve getting raw materials from the natural environment e.g. Mining, farming and fishing.

Secondary jobs involve making things (manufacturing) e.g. making cars and steel.

Tertiary jobs involve providing a service e.g. teaching and nursing.

Quaternary jobs involve research and development e.g. IT.

Employment Structures
Employment structure means how the workforce is divided up between the three main employment sectors - primary, secondary and tertiary. Employment structures change over time.

Countries in the early stage of development usually have a high percentage of the population in primary employment. This is because most people are engaged in agricultural activities.

As a country begins to develop an industrial base there is an increase in the secondary sector. An increase in machinery on farms means fewer people are needed. People tend to migrate to urban areas to get jobs in factories.

When a country becomes more economically developed there is a greater demand for services such as education, health care and tourism. Therefore the tertiary sector undergoes growth. By this time computers, machinery and robots replace people in the secondary sector hence the decrease in secondary jobs.

Employment structures are usually displayed as pie charts:

image - UK employment structure image - Brazil employment structure
The UK has a low proportion of people working in primary industry. This is partly because of mechanisation. Machinery has taken over jobs in the primary sector. Also, as primary resources have become exhausted (e.g. coal) The UK now imports a considerable amount of its non-renewable resources. The number of people employed in the secondary sector is falling. This is because fewer people are needed to work in factories as robots are taking over jobs. The tertiary sector is the main growth area. Most people work in hospitals, schools, offices and financial services. Also, as people have more free time and become wealthier there is a greater demand for leisure services. Therefore more jobs become available in the tertiary sector. Brazil is a NIC or Newly Industrialised Country. While it is developing its economic base there are still a large number of people employed in primary industries such as farming. There is a large proportion of people employed in tertiary industries. One reason for this is because of the growth of Brazil as a tourist destination. Also, there have been significant improvements in the provision of health care, education and transport.
image - Ghana employment structure
Ghana is an LEDC or Less Economically Developed Country. The majority of people work in the primary sector. This is due to the lack of machinery available in farming, forestry and mining. Farming is very important because people often grow the food they eat. Few people work in secondary industries due to the lack of factories - machinery is too expensive and multi-national companies rely on the raw materials available in Ghana to assist in manufacturing products.


Learn on the Internet © 2009