Restricting growth in employment in manufacturing industries
Automated technologies have been reducing the need for human labour in every manufacturing category. By 2010, less than 12 percent of the US workforce will be on the factory floor, and by 2020 less than 2 percent of the entire global workforce will likely still be engaged in factory work. The first quarter of the 21st century will see the virtual elimination of the blue collar, mass assembly line worker from the production process.
For most of the 1980s, it was fashionable to blame the loss of manufacturing on foreign competition and cheap labour markets abroad. In some industries, especially the garment trade and electronics, that has been the case. Recently, however, economists have begun to revise their views in the light of in-depth studies of the manufacturing sector. They have found that the concern, widely voiced during the 1950s and 1960s, that industrial workers would lose their jobs because of automation, is closer to the truth than the current preoccupation with a presumed loss of manufacturing jobs because of foreign competition.
The number of factory workers in the USA declined from 33 percent of the workforce to under 17 percent in the last 30 years of the twentieth century, even as US companies continue to increase production adn output.
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.