There is a predominant shift from the primary and secondary sectors to the tertiary sector (see Figure 3). As the Australian Bureau of Industry Economics' publication entitled Australian Industry Trends indicates on page 20:
"The best performing area of the Australian economy was the tertiary sector. Finance, property and business services, expanded by 93 per cent between 1980-81 and 1990-91. Recreational, personal and other services grew by over 50 per cent (reflecting the boom in tourism), as did the utilities - electricity, gas and water. The remainder of the services sector - construction, transport, trade and government - grew at roughly the same rate as the overall economy." (1)
Figure 3. Sector shares of Australian GDP.
This structural shift towards the tertiary (service) sector is most clearly evident in the percentage of sector shares of Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for 1980-81 and 1990-91 (see Figure 3). According to page 14 of Australian Industry Trends:
"During the 1980s, Australia experienced a structural shift from the primary and secondary industries to the tertiary industries. Primary industries declined from 10 per cent of Australian GDP in 1980-81 to 8 per cent in 1990-91. The manufacturing sector fell from 20 per cent to 15 per cent and the service sector expanded from 70 per cent of GDP to 76 per cent."
Australia is not alone in this regard. The trend is a global one as revealed on page 9 in the Final Green Paper Report published on 24 July 1996 by the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels:
"The type of work done by Europe's citizens is changing, with the information and service sectors the main source of new employment in the last decade...."
And on page 13 of the Report:
"....In fact, employment growth in services has been faster in those countries which have invested most in the application of new technologies."
The Report also stated on page 14 that:
"Over the period 1985-1994 employment in the services sector in the EU [European Union] grew by some 10 m[illion]. Although 80% of this overall growth in employment took place in the period 1985-1990, the second half of the period still saw a growth of 2 m[illion] jobs in business, computers and research, the same increase as in the earlier period - with 0.6 m[illion] extra jobs in education, and 0.9 m[illion] jobs in health and sanitation - all sectors where ICT [Information and Communication Technologies] has an important impact."