When you study a country’s economic history, it is common to see a trend toward tertiarization and industrialization. For example, when you look at the history of the UK, you’ll find that a lot of its economic growth and innovation has come from this sector. However, you’ll find that the process in the USA is not nearly as advanced. In fact, the United States is lagging behind Japan in terms of tertiarization.
Statistical measures of innovation can be useful in comparing the propensity of a country to innovate over time, across sectors, industries, and the size of institutional units. But these definitions are generally non-normative and are meant to support the identification of innovation, rather than imply a good or bad trend. To better understand innovation, we need to look at the whole economy, not just the private sector.