Economic activities are also known as ‘occupations’. Economic activities or occupations may be classified into three broad categories as follows:
Business includes all those economic activities which are concerned with production and exchange of goods or services with the object of earning profits.
Business is an economic activity because it is undertaken for earning money and producing wealth. All organisations which carry on business, activities are called business enterprises or ‘business firms’. Similarly the persons who are engaged in business are known as ‘businessmen’.
Business creates various types of utilities by making goods and services more valuable and useful to consumers. When raw materials are converted into finished products, it creates form utility.
Place utility is created by transporting goods from the place of production to the place of consumption. Goods are stored for future use which results in the creation of time utility.
A factory, a shop, a transport company, a warehouse, an insurance company, a bank are all examples of business activity. Firms providing direct services e.g., tailor, drycleaner, beauty parlour, etc., are also business enterprises.
The terms profession means an occupation which involves application of specialised knowledge and skills to earn a living. The persons who are engaged in profession are called professionals.
They render personal services of a specialised nature to their clients. The service is based on professional education, training and experience. Professionals receive fee for their services. Chartered Accountancy, medicine, law, tax consultancy are examples of professions.
The main features of a profession are as follows:
(i) Specialised body of knowledge:
Every profession has a specialised and systematised body of knowledge. Members of the profession are required to learn this knowledge.
(ii) Restricted entry:
Entry to a profession is allowed only to those who have completed the prescribed education and have passed the specified examination.
(iii) Formal Training:
A profession provides facilities for formal education and training to those who want to acquire professional qualification.
(iv) Professional association:
Every profession has its own association. A professional association is a statutory body and its membership is essential. The association regulates entry in the profession, grants certificate of practice, formulates and enforces code of conduct.
(v) Service motive:
Professionals are expected to emphasise services to their clients rather than economic gain.
(vi) Code of conduct:
The activities of a professional are regulated by a formal code of conduct. The code is prescribed by the professional association of which he is a member.
Employment means an economic activity, whereas people work for others in exchange for some remuneration. The persons who work for others are called ’employees’. The persons or organisations which engage others to work for them are called ’employers’.
The remuneration by an employer to his employee is known as wages or salary. The employee performs the work assigned to him by his employer as per the terms and conditions of employment.
There is an oral or written agreement between the employer and the employee the employee acts under the guidance and control of his employer.
The employer may be a Government (department) undertaking or a private firm. Employment thus includes all types of jobs in government offices and private enterprises.
When a professionally qualified person works as an employee he is also said to be in employment. For example, a doctor may be employed in a hospital, a chartered accountant may be working as an accountant in a company and a lawyer may serve as a law officer in a bank.
Various examples of employment are as follows:
(i) A teacher teaching in a school or college.
(ii) An engineer employed in Municipal Corporation of Delhi.
(iii) An accountant working in the accounts department of a company.
(iv) A person working as the plant manager of a factory.
(v) A nurse or doctor working in a hospital.