Service Industry

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Service Industry


the sector of the national economy whose output takes the form of services.

According to the system of industrial classification used in planning and statistics in the USSR, the service industry includes trade, the food service industry, and the branches of the nonproduction sphere, with the exception of the branches of science, science service, and administration. Certain services are performed in response to orders by individual citizens.

In the USSR, the service industry accounts for approximately one-tenth of the total output of goods and services (in 1973, 89.9 billion out of 850.2 billion rubles). The share of services in the total consumption fund of goods and services by the population in the USSR rose from 29.6 percent in 1960 to 33.7 percent in 1974. While the service industry employed 17.1 percent of the work force in 1960, the figure had grown to 23.7 percent in 1974.

The significant growth of the service industry can be explained by structural changes in societal needs. As the material and cultural level of a society rises, the need for services related to education, culture, and public health increases at a greater rate than the aggregate of other needs owing to the objective economic law of increasing requirements. The proportion of personal income expended on services also increases. As a country’s level of economic development rises, the service industry absorbs a growing share of society’s resources, and the output of the industry plays an increasingly important role in personal consumption. The service industry is growing in all the socialist countries, and the same trend can be seen in the developed capitalist countries. In the United States, for example, services accounted for 30.4 percent of the gross national product in 1950, 37.2 percent in 1960, and 41.9 percent in 1973


Rutgaizer, V. M. Sfera obsluzhivaniia—kakoi ei byt’?. Moscow, 1971.
SShA: sfera uslug v ekonomike. Moscow, 1971.
Teoreticheskie problemy uslug i neproizvodstvennoi sfery pri solsializme. Moscow, 1972.
Pravdin, D. I. Neproizvodstvennaia sfera: effektivnost’ i stimulirovanie. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.