Consumer goods are also turned into amenities, research and unity by various professions. And it’s not like there’s one job for each purpose, e.g. Unity is produced by culture workers (they also produce social research), enforcers (they also fight crime) and I think administrators. Some professions also produce special resources, and you can use said resources for special edicts - I think most are available from the start.
The economy became much more complex and it brought an interesting change. Research is not god anymore. Usually in most 4X games you expand but you can only really exploit with research, you hit soft caps all the time otherwise. Here the most noticeable soft cap is administrative cap, but it’s very soft. You can grow your economy in a variety of way mobilizing the populace.
You also get a lot of tech that just improves specific jobs or space facilties not requiring you to upgrade anything. Meaningful choices without clicker stuff.