In western economies, growth in the service sector was very marked in the past two decades of the twentieth century. This rapid expansion, and concomitant growth in employment, has been driven by a combined growth in services to businesses and social and personal services, in particular in the 1980s.
Overall employment growth in the service sector will slow down in the decade of the 1990s and a polarization of jobs is likely to occur. Currently the service sector in North America and western Europe, in particular the financial sector, retailing and the public sector, is being restructured as manufacturing was in the 1980s, in response to financial constraints, competitive pressure and new technologies. Job cuts and early retirement schemes will be introduced as firms consolidate or are taken over.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.