Last updated

Cement factories are part of the manufacturing industry. This factory is in Malmo, Sweden. Cementfabriken pa Limhamn-flygbild 06 september 2014.jpg
Cement factories are part of the manufacturing industry. This factory is in Malmö, Sweden.

An industry is a sector that produces goods or related services within an economy. [1] The major source of revenue of a group or company is an indicator of what industry it should be classified in. [2] When a large corporate group has multiple sources of revenue generation, it is considered to be working in different industries. The manufacturing industry became a key sector of production and labour in European and North American countries during the Industrial Revolution, upsetting previous mercantile and feudal economies. This came through many successive rapid advances in technology, such as the development of steam power and the production of steel and coal.


Following the Industrial Revolution, possibly a third of the economic output came from manufacturing industries. Many developed countries and many developing/semi-developed countries (China, India etc.) depend significantly on manufacturing industry.



Slavery, the practice of utilizing forced labor to produce goods [3] [ failed verification ] and services, has occurred since antiquity throughout the world as a means of low-cost production. It typically produces goods for which profit depends on economies of scale, especially those for which labor was simple and easy to supervise. [4] International law has declared slavery illegal. [5]


Guilds, associations of artisan s and merchants, oversee the production and distribution of a particular good. Guilds have their roots in the Roman Empire as collegia (singular: collegium) Membership in these early guilds was voluntary. The Roman collegia did not survive the fall of Rome. [6] In the early middle ages, guilds once again began to emerge in Europe, reaching a degree of maturity by the beginning of the 14th century. [7] [ need quotation to verify ] While few guilds remain today, some modern labor structures resemble those of traditional guilds. [8] Other guilds, such as the SAG-AFTRA act as trade union s rather than as classical guilds. Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie claims that guilds negatively affected quality, skills, and innovation in areas that they were present. [9]

Industrial Revolution

The industrial revolution (from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century) saw the development and popularization of mechanized means of production as a replacement for hand production. [10] The industrial revolution played a role in the abolition of slavery in Europe and in North America. [11]

Since the Industrial Revolution

In a process dubbed tertiarization, the economic preponderance of primary and secondary industries has declined in recent centuries relative to the rising importance of tertiary industry, [12] [13] resulting in the post-industrial economy. Specialization in industry [14] and in the classification of industry has also occurred. Thus (for example) a record producer might claim to speak on behalf of the Japanese rock industry, the recording industry, the music industry or the entertainment industry - and any formulation will sound grandiose and weighty.

Industrial development

Optimized logistics have enabled the rapid development of industry. Here is a thermal oxidizer during the industrial shipping process. Regenerative-thermal-oxidizer-logistics.jpg
Optimized logistics have enabled the rapid development of industry. Here is a thermal oxidizer during the industrial shipping process.
A factory, a traditional symbol of the industrial development (a cement factory in Kunda, Estonia) Kunda tsemenditehas.jpg
A factory, a traditional symbol of the industrial development (a cement factory in Kunda, Estonia)

The Industrial Revolution led to the development of factories for large-scale production with consequent changes in society. [15] Originally the factories were steam-powered, but later transitioned to electricity once an electrical grid was developed. The mechanized assembly line was introduced to assemble parts in a repeatable fashion, with individual workers performing specific steps during the process. This led to significant increases in efficiency, lowering the cost of the end process. Later automation was increasingly used to replace human operators. This process has accelerated with the development of the computer and the robot.


Colin Clark's sector model of an economy undergoing technological change. In later stages, the Quaternary sector of the economy grows. Clark's Sector Model.png
Colin Clark's sector model of an economy undergoing technological change. In later stages, the Quaternary sector of the economy grows.

Historically certain manufacturing industries have gone into a decline due to various economic factors, including the development of replacement technology or the loss of competitive advantage. An example of the former is the decline in carriage manufacturing when the automobile was mass-produced.

A recent trend has been the migration of prosperous, industrialized nations towards a post-industrial society. This is manifested by an increase in the service sector at the expense of manufacturing, and the development of an information-based economy, the so-called informational revolution. In a post-industrial society, manufacturers relocate to more profitable locations through a process of off-shoring.

Measurements of manufacturing industries outputs and economic effect are not historically stable. Traditionally, success has been measured in the number of jobs created. The reduced number of employees in the manufacturing sector has been assumed to result from a decline in the competitiveness of the sector, or the introduction of the lean manufacturing process.

Related to this change is the upgrading of the quality of the product being manufactured. While it is possible to produce a low-technology product with low-skill labour, the ability to manufacture high-technology products well is dependent on a highly skilled staff.


An industrial society is a society driven by the use of technology to enable mass production, supporting a large population with a high capacity for division of labour. Today, industry is an important part of most societies and nations. A government must have some kind of industrial policy, regulating industrial placement, industrial pollution, financing and industrial labour.

Industrial labour

An industrial worker amidst heavy steel components (KINEX BEARINGS, Bytca, Slovakia, c. 1995-2000) Worker 9.JPG
An industrial worker amidst heavy steel components (KINEX BEARINGS, Bytča, Slovakia, c. 1995–2000)

In an industrial society, industry employs a major part of the population. This occurs typically in the manufacturing sector. A labour union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas such as wages, hours, and other working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labour contracts with employers. This movement first rose among industrial workers.


The assembly plant of the Bell Aircraft Corporation (Wheatfield, New York, United States, 1944) producing P-39 Airacobra fighters Airacobra P39 Assembly LOC 02902u.jpg
The assembly plant of the Bell Aircraft Corporation (Wheatfield, New York, United States, 1944) producing P-39 Airacobra fighters

The Industrial Revolution changed warfare, with mass-produced weaponry and supplies, machine-powered transportation, mobilization, the total war concept and weapons of mass destruction. Early instances of industrial warfare were the Crimean War and the American Civil War, but its full potential showed during the world wars. See also military-industrial complex, arms industries, military industry and modern warfare.

List of countries by industrial output

20 largest Countries by Industrial Output (in nominal terms) according to IMF and CIA World Factbook, at peak level as of 2018
Countries by Industrial Output (in nominal terms) at peak level as of 2018 (billions in USD)
(01) Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
(—) Flag of Europe.svg  European Union
(02) Flag of the United States.svg  United States
(03) Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
(04) Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
(05) Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
(06) Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
(07) Flag of India.svg  India
(08) Flag of France.svg  France
(09) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
(10) Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
(11) Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
(12) Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
(13) Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
(14) Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
(15) Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
(16) Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
(17) Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
(18) Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
(19) Flag of Poland.svg  Poland
(20) Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan

The twenty largest countries by industrial output (in nominal terms) at peak level as of 2018, according to the IMF and CIA World Factbook.

20 Largest Countries by Industrial Output according to UNCTAD at 2005 constant prices and exchange rates, 2015 [16]
Top 20 Countries by Industrial Output (in nominal terms) in 2015 (millions in 2005 constant USD and exchange rates)
(01) Flag of the United States.svg  United States
(02) Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China
(03) Flag of Japan.svg  Japan
(04) Flag of Germany.svg  Germany
(05) Flag of India.svg  India
(06) Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
(07) Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea
(08) Flag of France.svg  France
(09) Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
(10) Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
(11) Flag of Mexico.svg  Mexico
(12) Flag of Russia.svg  Russia
(13) Flag of Brazil.svg  Brazil
(14) Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
(15) Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia
(16) Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
(17) Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan
(18) Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
(19) Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
(20) Flag of Poland.svg  Poland

See also

Related Research Articles

Tertiary sector of the economy service sector

The service sector is the third of the three economic sectors of the three-sector theory. The others are the secondary sector, and the primary sector.

Industrial Revolution Transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the 18th-19th centuries

The Industrial Revolution, now also known as the First Industrial Revolution, was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Europe and the United States, in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines, new chemical manufacturing and iron production processes, the increasing use of steam power and water power, the development of machine tools and the rise of the mechanized factory system. The Industrial Revolution also led to an unprecedented rise in the rate of population growth.

Manufacturing Industrial activity producing goods for sale using labor and machines

Manufacturing is the production of products for use or sale using labour and machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation, and is the essence of secondary industry. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial design, in which raw materials from primary industry are transformed into finished goods on a large scale. Such finished goods may be sold to other manufacturers for the production of other more complex products, or distributed via the tertiary industry to end users and consumers.

Import substitution industrialization trade and economic policy

Import substitution industrialization (ISI) is a trade and economic policy which advocates replacing foreign imports with domestic production. ISI is based on the premise that a country should attempt to reduce its foreign dependency through the local production of industrialized products. The term primarily refers to 20th-century development economics policies, although it has been advocated since the 18th century by economists such as Friedrich List and Alexander Hamilton.

Industrialisation Period of social and economic change from agrarian to industrial society

Industrialisation is the period of social and economic change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial society, involving the extensive re-organisation of an economy for the purpose of manufacturing.

The knowledge economy is the use of knowledge to create goods and services. In particular, it refers to a high portion of skilled workers in the economy of a locality, country, or the world, and the idea that most jobs require specialized skills. In particular, the main personal capital of knowledge workers is knowledge, and many knowledge worker jobs require a lot of thinking and manipulating information as opposed to moving or crafting physical objects. It stands in contrast to an agrarian economy or an industrialized economy. Knowledge economy emphasizes the importance of skills in a service economy, the third phase of economic development, also called a post-industrial economy. It is related to the terms information economy, which emphasizes the importance of information as non-physical capital, and digital economy, which emphasize the degree to which information technology facilitates trade. For companies, intellectual property such as trade secrets, copyrighted material, and patented processes become more valuable in a knowledge economy than in earlier eras.

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, was a phase of rapid standardization and industrialization from the late 19th century into the early 20th century. The First Industrial Revolution, which ended in the middle of 19th century, was punctuated by a slowdown in important inventions before the Second Industrial Revolution in 1870. Though a number of its events can be traced to earlier innovations in manufacturing, such as the establishment of a machine tool industry, the development of methods for manufacturing interchangeable parts and the invention of the Bessemer Process to produce steel, the Second Industrial Revolution is generally dated between 1870 and 1914.

Economic history of Japan aspect of history

The economic history of Japan is most studied for the spectacular social and economic growth in the 1800s after the Meiji Restoration, when it became the first non-Western great power, and for its expansion after the Second World War, when Japan recovered from devastation to become the world's second largest economy behind the United States, and from 2013 behind China as well. Scholars have evaluated the nation's unique economic position during the Cold War, with exports going to both U.S.- and Soviet-aligned powers, and have taken keen interest in the situation of the post-Cold War period of the Japanese "lost decades".

Post-industrial society societies whose service sector provides more economic value than manufcaturing

In sociology, the post-industrial society is the stage of society's development when the service sector generates more wealth than the manufacturing sector of the economy.

The term information revolution describes current economic, social and technological trends beyond the Industrial Revolution. The information revolution was enabled by advances in semiconductor technology, particularly the metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) and the integrated circuit (IC) chip, leading to the Information Age in the early 21st century.

The dual-sector model is a model in development economics. It is commonly known as the Lewis model after its inventor W. Arthur Lewis. It explains the growth of a developing economy in terms of a labour transition between two sectors, the capitalist sector and the subsistence sector.

Economic planning is a mechanism for the allocation of resources between and within organizations which is held in contrast to the market mechanism. As an allocation mechanism for socialism, economic planning replaces factor markets with a direct allocation of resources within a single or interconnected group of socially owned organizations.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to industry:

An economy is an area of the production, distribution and trade, as well as consumption of goods and services by different agents. Understood in its broadest sense, 'The economy is defined as a social domain that emphasize the practices, discourses, and material expressions associated with the production, use, and management of resources'. Economic agents can be individuals, businesses, organizations, or governments. Economic transactions occur when two groups or parties agree to the value or price of the transacted good or service, commonly expressed in a certain currency. However, monetary transactions only account for a small part of the economic domain. Economic activity is spurred by production which uses natural resources, labor and capital. It has changed over time due to technology, innovation such as, that which produces intellectual property and changes in industrial relations. A given economy is the result of a set of processes that involves its culture, values, education, technological evolution, history, social organization, political structure and legal systems, as well as its geography, natural resource endowment, and ecology, as main factors. These factors give context, content, and set the conditions and parameters in which an economy functions. In other words, the economic domain is a social domain of human practices and transactions. It does not stand alone.

Proto-industrialization is the regional development, alongside commercial agriculture, of rural handicraft production for external markets. The term was introduced in the early 1970s by economic historians who argued that such developments in parts of Europe between the 16th and 19th centuries created the social and economic conditions that led to the Industrial Revolution. Later researchers suggested that similar conditions had arisen in other parts of the world. Most aspects of the theory have been challenged by other historians.

Economic sector conceptual grouping of economic activities

One classical breakdown of economic activity distinguishes three sectors:

Advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing is the use of innovative technology to improve products or processes, with the relevant technology being described as "advanced," "innovative," or "cutting edge." Advanced manufacturing industries "increasingly integrate new innovative technologies in both products and processes. The rate of technology adoption and the ability to use that technology to remain competitive and add value to define the advanced manufacturing sector."

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to production:

Engels' pause is a term coined by economic historian Robert C. Allen to describe the period from 1800 to 1840, when British working-class wages stagnated and per-capita gross domestic product expanded rapidly during a technological upheaval. Allen named the period after German philosopher Friedrich Engels, who describes it in The Condition of the Working Class in England. Economists have analyzed its causes and effects since the nineteenth century, with some questioning its existence. Twenty-first-century technological upheaval and wage stagnation have led economists and academics to draw parallels between the two periods.


  1. Industry | Define Industry at Archived 2014-02-04 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "'Definition of Industry' Investopedia". 2003-11-20. Archived from the original on 2017-07-24.
  3. "Slavery in the 21st Century". Archived from the original on 8 May 2002. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  4. Compare: Lagerlöf, Nils-Petter (2006-08-30). "Slavery and other property rights" (PDF). Some argue that slavery died out due to the rise of industrial production modes, involving a larger number of work tasks, thus making slavery more costly in terms of supervision.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. United Nations. "Universal Declaration on Human Rights." General Assembly of the United Nations. 1948.
  6. Epstein, S.A. (1991). Wage Labor and Guilds in Medieval Europe. University of North Carolina Press. pp. 10–49.
  7. Centre international de synthèse (1971). L'Encyclopedie et les encyclopedistes. B. Franklin. p. 336. ISBN   978-0-8337-1157-1.
  8. Sarfatti Larson, Magali (1979). The Rise of Professionalism: A Sociological Analysis. Campus. 233. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 15. ISBN   978-0-520-03950-6. [...] a cognitive basis of any kind had to be at least approximately defined before the rising modern professions could negotiate cognitive exclusiveness — that is, before they could convincingly establish a teaching monopoly on their specific tools and techniques, while claiming absolute superiority for them. The proved institutional mechanisms for this negotiation were the license, the qualifying examination, the diploma, and formal training in a common curriculum. The typical institutions that administered these devices were, first, the guild-like professional association, and later the professional school, which superseded the association in effectiveness. [...] Obviously, none of this was in itself an organizational invention. The guilds of merchants that sprang up in eleventh-century Europe were also voluntary associations tending towards the monopolistic control of a new form of trade.[...]
  9. Ogilvie, Sheilagh (May 2004). "Guilds, efficiency, and social capital: evidence from German proto-industry" (PDF). Economic History Review. 57 (2): 286–333. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.2004.00279.x. hdl:10419/76314. The empirical findings cast doubt on views that guilds existed because they were efficient institutional solutions to market failures relating to product quality, training, and innovation.
  10. Compare: "Industrial Revolution - Facts & Summary -". Retrieved 2018-07-04. Before the advent of the Industrial Revolution, [...] [m]ost manufacturing was done in homes or small, rural shops, using hand tools or simple machines.
  11. Compare: Harley, Charles (September 2011). "Slavery, the British Atlantic Economy and the Industrial Revolution" (PDF). Working Paper: 7–8. As the Industrial Revolution proceeded, the main focus of economic attention shifted to the new industries created by Britain's technological prominence. These industries looked not for protection but for an opening of export markets. As the political economy shifted, the West Indian interest became vulnerable to their opponents. The slave trade was abolished in 1807 and slavery eventually abolished in 1833.
  12. Betzelt, Sigrid (2001). The Third Sector as a Job Machine?: Conditions, Potentials, and Policies for Job Creation in German Nonprofit Organizations. European University Studies: Economics and Management - ISSN 0531-7339. 2805. Peter Lang. p. 52. ISBN   9780820454306 . Retrieved 6 November 2019. 'Tertiarization', the quantitative shift of economic relevance from agricultural and especially industrial production [...].
  13. Pujolar, Joan (2018). "Post-Nationalism and Language Commodification". In Tollefson, James W.; Pérez-Milans, Miguel (eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Language Policy and Planning. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 487. ISBN   9780190458898 . Retrieved 6 November 2019. Tertiarization refers to the dominance of so-called third- or tertiary-sector production in the economy.
  14. Huang, Yukon; Luo, Xubei (2008). "Reshaping economic geography in China". In Huang, Yukon; Magnoli Bocchi, Alessandro (eds.). Reshaping Economic Geography in East Asia. Washington, DC: World Bank Publications. p. 207. ISBN   9780821376423 . Retrieved 6 November 2019. Improved connectivity has increased efficiency and facilitated greater industrial specialization through agglomeration economies.
  15. More, Charles (2000). "Understanding the Industrial Revolution". London: Routledge. Archived from the original on 2011-08-14.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. "UNCTADstat - Table view". Retrieved 2018-05-08.