Partie 4 : Réalités économiques

Chapitre 27 : Economic sectors

The main sectors of economy, page 60

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primary sector It makes use of natural resources, like food, wood, ores (mainly iron), oil or coal.
Workers: anyone working in agriculture (farmers), forestry (woodcutters), fishing (fishermen) and mining (miners).
secondary sector It transforms materials into goods: wood being made into furniture, or steel being transformed into cars…
Workers: factory workers, construction workers, auto workers, carpenters, etc.
tertiary sector
(service sector)
It provides services to consumers and businesses.
Workers: waiters, bus drivers, teachers, doctors, bankers, insurers, computer specialists, estate agents, cleaners, etc.

Most modern world countries have seen a sharp decline in the proportion of people who work in the primary sector. It is estimated that less than 5% of the labour force is engaged in this sector in developed countries.

The quaternary sector includes services such as information gathering, R and D (research and development), business consulting and media.

Heavy industry, page 60

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raw materials
cast iron
oil industry
a refinery
a quarry
a pit
the iron and steel industry
a rolling mill
a blast furnace
a spinning mill
a saw mill
a shipyard

The pulp and paper industry, which includes office and catalogue paper, glossy paper, tissue and paper-based packaging, uses over 40% of all industrial wood traded globally.

Food for thought, page 61

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Coal is not cool

Coal has always been a major source of energy. It was a key component of the Industrial Revolution (from about 1760 to 1820): vast quantities of coal were needed when European countries started to industrialize themselves, especially to fuel steam engines and furnaces, used to melt metal.

These days, coal is associated with severe environmental and health effects. Coal mining causes water and air pollution. Coal burning produces millions of tons of solid waste products that contain heavy metals like mercury.

According to the international science magazine New Scientist (in an article published in 2013), coal pollution costs the European Union over 40 billion euros each year. Cutting air pollution would have beneficial long-term economic impacts for individuals.