Sectors of Economy: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary and Quinary

Human activities which generate income are known as economic activities. Economic activities are broadly grouped into primary, secondary, tertiary activities. Higher services under tertiary activities are again classified into quaternary and quinary activities.

Primary activities
Primary activities are directly dependent on environment as these refer to utilisation of earth’s resources such as land, water, vegetation, building materials and minerals. It, thus includes, hunting and gathering, pastoral activities, fishing, forestry, agriculture, and mining and quarrying.

People engaged in primary activities are called red-collar workers due to the outdoor nature of their work.

Secondary activities
Secondary activities add value to natural resources by transforming raw materials into valuable products. Secondary activities, therefore, are concerned with manufacturing, processing and construction (infrastructure) industries.

People engaged in secondary activities are called blue collar workers.

Tertiary activities
Tertiary activities include both production and exchange. The production involves the ‘provision’ of services that are ‘consumed. Exchange, involves trade, transport and communication facilities that are used to overcome distance.

Quaternary activities
Quaternary activities are specialized tertairy activities in the ‘Knowledge Sector’ which demands a separate classification. There has been a very high growth in demand for and consumption of information based services from mutual fund managers to tax consultants, software developers and statisticians. Personnel working in office buildings, elementary schools and university classrooms, hospitals and doctors’ offices, theatres, accounting and brokerage firms all belong to this category of services. Like some of the tertiary functions, quaternary activities can also be outsourced. They are not tied to resources, affected by the environment, or necessarily localised by market.

Quinary activities
Quinary activities are services that focus on the creation, re-arrangement and interpretation of new and existing ideas; data interpretation and the use and evaluation of new technologies. Often referred to as ‘gold collar’ professions, they represent another subdivision of the tertiary sector representing special and highly paid skills of senior business executives, government officials, research scientists, financial and legal consultants, etc. Their importance in the structure of advanced economies far outweighs their numbers.The highest level of decision makers or policy makers perform quinary activities.

Quinary workers are also refered as Gold collar professions.

Factors responsible for location of Industries

Industrial locations are complex in nature. These are influenced by the availability of many factors. Some of them are: raw material, land, water, labor, capital, power, transport, and market.

For ease of convenience, we can classify the location factors into two: geographical factors and non-geographical factors.

Geographical Factors

  1. Raw material: Availability of natural resource that can be used as raw material.
  2. Technology: To turn the resource into an asset with value.
  3. Power: To utilize the technology.
  4. Labour: Human resource in the area who can function as labor to run the processes.
  5. Transport : Road/rail connectivity.
  6. Storage and warehousing.
  7. Marketing feasibility.
  8. Characteristics of land and soil.
  9. Climate.
  10. Precipitation and water resources.
  11. Vulnerability to natural resources.

Non-geographical Factors

  1. Capital investment.
  2. Availability of loans.
  3. Investment climate.
  4. Government policies/regulations.
  5. Influence of pressure groups.

Industrial System

An industrial system consists of inputs, processes, and outputs. The inputs are the raw materials, labor, and costs of land, transport, power and other infrastructure. The processes include a wide range of activities that convert the raw material into finished products. The outputs are the end product and the income earned from it. In the case of the textile industry, the inputs may be cotton, human labor, factory and transport cost. The processes include ginning, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and printing. The output is the shirt you wear.