chapter  7
Innovation and employment in services
Results from the Italian innovation survey
ByRinaldo Evangelista
Pages 28

The service sector is nowadays a major component of advanced economies accounting for between 50 and 75 per cent of jobs and value-added in most OECD countries (Table 7.1). This is the result of a historical process which has seen a progressive shift of employment first from agriculture to manufacturing and then from manufacturing to service activities. Among the private service sectors, the more dynamic components over the last 20 years have been the financial and business services along with community, social and personal services (OECD, 1998). These are the industries which have contributed over the last two decades to alleviate, and in some countries even fully compensate, the severe job losses occurring in the manufacturing sector (Table 7.2). This also explains why the growth of the service sector is nowadays perceived as one of the few remedies against the continuing high rates of unemployment in most industrialised countries.