The Private Sector is usually comprised of organizations run by individuals and groups who seek to generate and return a profit back to its owners.
Organizations in the private sector are usually free from government control or ownership, but sometimes choose to partner with a government body in a public-private partnership to jointly deliver a service or business venture to a community.
Popular examples of public-private partnerships, or P3s, in different countries include:
- The West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) in the United States
- Many health and education facilities in the United Kingdom
- Ontario’s Highway 407 in Canada
Examples of the Private Sector
Small, privately owned business form the greater part of the private sector. Despite this fact, this sector boasts a rich diversity of individuals, partnerships, and groups — from small mom and pop stores to multi-national conglomerates.
Examples of organizations in the private sector include:
- Sole Proprietors: Designers, Developers, Plumbers, Repairmen
- Partnerships: Dentistry, Legal, Accounting, Tax
- Small and Medium-sized Businesses: Retail, Hospitality, Food, Leisure, Legal Services
- Large Multinationals: Apple, Tesla, Disney, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo
- Professional/Trade Associations: Canadian Institute of Management, American Management Association
- Trade Unions: British Columbia Teachers’ Federation, American Postal Workers Union
Size of the Private Sector
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a country represents the final value of all goods and services produced in a period of time.
In most developed countries, the private sector contributes a significant percentage towards its total GDP. The data (as of 2004) is as follows:
Trends in the Private Sector
In the United States, researchers Keith Hall and Robert Greene state that since the beginning of the Great Recession, the private sector has been shrinking while the public sector has been growing in most states.
In Canada, the public sector is also ‘crowding out’ private job growth.
In the United Kingdom, the opposite seems to be true: the private sector is growing while the public sector is shrinking.