Distribution of labour
Firstly, the importance of agriculture in relation to other occupational groups continued its decline; the numbers employed fell by one-third and the percentage by more than one-half. These developments arose as British people could rely on obtaining increased supplies of imported food paid for by growing exports of the manufactured goods and services in which they specialised.
Secondly, there was a fall in the relative importance of manufacturing, though the numbers employed in that group increased by no less than 40 per cent, as the output of manufacturers continued to expand.
Thirdly, a striking change arose with regard to service occupations, the importance of which increased considerably in both absolute and relative terms; indeed, by 1901, service workers were far more numerous than workers in manufacturing. Such a change partly reflects the tremendous rise of commercial activity, but also the growing mechanisation of manufacturing processes.