Service Sector

Definition of 'Service Sector'


The portion of the economy that produces intangible goods. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the service sector primarily consists of truck transportation, messenger services and warehousing; information sector services; securities, commodities and other financial investment services; rental and leasing services; professional, scientific and technical services; administrative and support services; waste management and remediation; health care and social assistance; and arts, entertainment and recreation services.

Individuals employed in this sector produce services rather than products. Examples of service sector jobs include housekeeping, psychotherapy, tax preparation, guided tours, nursing and teaching. By contrast, individuals employed in the industrial/manufacturing sector might produce goods such as cars, clothing and toys.

Investopedia explains 'Service Sector'


Countries with primarily service-based economies are considered to be more advanced than countries with primarily industrial or agricultural economies. Examples of countries with a heavy emphasis on the service sector include the United States, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. In the U.S., the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) monthly index provides a measure of the general state of business in the non-manufacturing sector. Because approximately two-thirds of U.S. economic activity resides in the service sector, the index is considered a measure of the country's overall economic health.



comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  2. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
  3. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
  4. Treasury Inflation Protected Securities - TIPS

    A treasury security that is indexed to inflation in order to protect investors from the negative effects of inflation. TIPS are considered an extremely low-risk investment since they are backed by the U.S. government and since their par value rises with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, while their interest rate remains fixed.
  5. Gilt-Edged Switching

    The selling and repurchasing of certain high-grade stocks or bonds to capture profits. Gilt-edged switching involves gilt-edged security, which can be high-grade stock or bond issued by a financially stable company such as the Blue Chip companies or by certain governments.
  6. Master Limited Partnership - MLP

    A type of limited partnership that is publicly traded. There are two types of partners in this type of partnership: The limited partner is the person or group that provides the capital to the MLP and receives periodic income distributions from the MLP's cash flow, whereas the general partner is the party responsible for managing the MLP's affairs and receives compensation that is linked to the performance of the venture.
Trading Center