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Sector Overview

The primary sector of the economy extracts or collects products from the earth, such as raw materials and basic foods.

Activities associated with the primary sector of the economy include agriculture (both subsistence and commercial), mining, forestry, grazing, hunting and fishing, quarrying of stone and marble. Also, the specialists consider that the packaging and processing of raw materials are part of this sector.

Trends in the Primary Sector

The sector has experienced a dramatic decline in the last 150 years when almost half of the population worked in the mining and agriculture industry. In many developed countries the labor force in today’s primary sector has reached levels below 5%. The professions in this sector are relatively underpaid. Crafts like miner, shepherd, farmer, hunter, fisherman are less and less necessary nowadays.

Workers in the primary sector of the economy are known as “red-collar” workers.

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