By mid-1998, the proportion of the UK employed population working in service sector jobs

had grown to 75.7 per cent. The comparable figure in mid-1986 was 68.3 per cent. Over

the same period, the proportion of the employed population working within production

industries fell from 25.2 per cent to just 18.4 per cent (Office for National Statistics, 1999).

These figures clearly demonstrate the size, the growth-rate and the ever-increasing economic

importance of the service sector.