An industry is generally any grouping of businesses that share a common method of generating profits, such as the "movie industry", the "automobile industry", or the "cattle industry". It is also used specifically to refer to an area of economic production focused on manufacturing which involves large amounts of upfront capital investment before any profit can be realized, also called "heavy industry."

Industry in the second sense became a key sector of production in European and North American countries during the Industrial Revolution, which upset previous mercantile and feudal economies through many successive rapid advances in technology, such as the development of steam engines, power looms, and advances in large scale steel and coal production. Industrial countries then assumed a capitalist economic policy. Railroads and steam-powered ships began speedily integrating previously impossibly-distant world markets, enabling private companies to develop to then-unheard of size and wealth. Following the Industrial Revolution, perhaps a third of the world's economic output is derived from manufacturing industries— more than agriculture's share, but now less than that of the service sector.

In economics and urban planning, industrial is an intensive type of land use and economic activity involved with manufacturing and production.


List of industries and prominent companies

The North American Industry Classification System and other national variants identify sectors of economic activity for statistical and national accounting purposes.

Information (51)

  • Wilshire 5000 Index market cap size: 11% + 5% ([1] (

Computer hardware and software production. Computer hardware and software is together with the second largest category of the Wilshire 5000.


Finance and Insurance (52)

  • Wilshire 5000 Index market cap size: 22% ([2] (

Financial services is by far the largest category in the Wilshire 5000 index of 6,700 publicly traded American companies ([3] (

Health Care and Social Assistance (62)

  • Wilshire 5000 Index market cap size: 13% ([4] (

Health care is the second-largest category in the Wilshire 5000.


Manufacturing (31-33)

>Chemical production

>Steel production


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 effects 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 labor, the ability to manufacture high-technology products well is dependent on highly skilled staff.

See also

External links

  • Yahoo! - Industry Index (
  • Industries | (

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