The first three sectors of the economy through different economic development stages

The distribution of the workforce among the three sectors progresses through different stages as follows, according to Fourastié:

[edit] First phase: Traditional civilizationsWorkforce quotas:

Primary sector: 70%
Secondary sector: 20%
Tertiary sector: 10%
This phase represents a society which is scientifically not yet very developed, with a negligible use of machinery. The state of development corresponds to that of European countries in the early Middle Ages, or that of a modern-day developing country.

[edit] Second phase: Transitional periodWorkforce quotas:

Primary sector: 20%
Secondary sector: 50%
Tertiary sector: 30%
More machinery is deployed in the primary sector, which reduces the number of workers needed. As a result, the demand for machinery production in the secondary sector increases. The transitional phase begins with an event which can be identified with industrialisation: far-reaching mechanisation (and therefore automation) of manufacture, such as the use of conveyor belts.

The tertiary sector begins to develop, as do the financial sector and the power of the state.

[edit] Third phase: Tertiary civilizationWorkforce quotas:

Primary sector: 10%
Secondary sector: 20%
Tertiary sector: 70%
The primary and secondary sectors are increasingly dominated by automation, and the demand for workforce numbers falls in these sectors. It is replaced by the growing demands of the tertiary sector. The situation now corresponds to modern-day industrial societies and the society of the future, the service or post-industrial society.

Today the tertiary sector has grown to such an enormous size that it is sometimes further divided into an information-based quaternary sector, and even a quinary sector based on non-profit services.

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