Overall, the service sector in Argyll and the Islands employed 83.2 per cent of the area's workforce (excluding the self-employed) in 2008, slightly higher than the Highlands and Islands rate (81 per cent) and Scotland (81.9 per cent).
Tourism is a vital industry. Almost 16 per cent of Argyll and the Islands employment in 2008 was in tourism-related sectors, compared with 8.9 per cent for Scotland as a whole.
Manufacturing accounted for 5.6 per cent of the area's employment, compared with 8.9 per cent in the Highlands and Islands and 8.7 per cent in Scotland. This proportion will be boosted by the success of HIE and the Scottish Government in attracting renewable energy manufacturer Wind Towers (Scotland) to Kintyre in 2011.
Life sciences is another sector which is growing in importance. The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, has established a strong international reputation. HIE's new European Marine Science Park, located next to SAMS, aims to grow the sector further.