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Sports form an important part of the culture of the United States. The four most popular team sports are ones that developed in North America: American football,baseball, basketball and ice hockey. The major leagues of these sports, the National Football League (NFL), the Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Hockey League (NHL) enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. Soccer (association football) is less popular as a spectator sport in the United States than it is in many other countries, though it has wide participation in amateur and semi- professional levels, particularly among youths and people of Latin American descent, which constitutes people from Mexico all the way down to South America. The top league, Major League Soccer, is starting to approach the level of the NBA and the NHL in terms of attendance, although it lags far behind in average salary and TV interest.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues.
Sports are particularly associated with education in the United States, with most high schools and universities having organized sports. College sports competitions play an important role in the American sporting culture. In many cases college athletics are more popular than professional sports, with the major sanctioning body being the NCAA.
The United States has a capitalist mixed economy, which is fueled by abundant natural resources, a well- developed infrastructure, and high productivity. According to the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. GDP of $15.1 trillion constitutes 22% of the gross world product at market exchange rates and over 19% of the gross world product at purchasing power parity (PPP). Though larger than any other nation's, its national GDP is about 5% smaller than the GDP of the European Union at PPP in 2008. The country ranks ninth in the world in nominal GDP per capita and sixth inGDP per capita at PPP. The U.S. dollar is the world's primary reserve currency.
The United States is the largest importer of goods and third largest exporter, though exports per capita are relatively low. In 2010, the total U.S. trade deficit was $635 billion. Canada, China, Mexico, Japan, and Germany are its top trading partners. In 2010, oil was the largest import commodity, while transportation equipment was the country's largest export. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. public debt.
In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy, with federal government activity accounting for 4.3% and state and local government activity (including federal transfers) the remaining 9.3%. While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development and its service sectorconstitutes 67.8% of GDP, the United States remains an industrial power. The leading business field by gross business receipts is wholesale and retail trade; by net income it is manufacturing.
Chemical products are the leading manufacturing field. The United States is the third largest producer of oil in the world, as well as its largest importer. It is the world's number one producer of electrical and nuclear energy, as well as liquid natural gas, sulfur, phosphates, and salt. While agriculture accounts for just under 1% of GDP, the United States is the world's top producer of corn and soybeans. Coca- Cola and McDonald's are the two most recognized brands in the world.
In August 2010, the American labor force comprised 154.1 million people. With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. About 12% of workers are unionized, compared to 30% in Western Europe. The World Bank ranks the United States first in the ease of hiring and firing workers.  In 2009, the United States had the third highest labor productivity per person in the world, behind Luxembourg and Norway.