Logo
Decent Work and Economic Growth

8 . Decent Work and Economic Growth

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs

Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards. 

COVID-19 has disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a global recession as bad as or worse than in 2009. As job losses escalate, the International Labor Organization estimates that nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, one in five countries – home to billions of people living in poverty – were likely to see per capita incomes stagnate or decline in 2020. Now, the economic and financial shocks associated with COVID-19—such as disruptions to industrial production, falling commodity prices, financial market volatility, and rising insecurity—are derailing the already tepid economic growth and compounding heightened risks from other factors.  

Facts and Figures

  • The global unemployment rate in 2017 was 5.6per cent, down from 6.4per cent in 2000.
  • Globally, 61per cent of all workers were engaged in informal employment in 2016. Excluding the agricultural sector, 51per cent of all workers fell into this employment category.
  • Men earn 12.5per cent more than women in 40 out of 45 countries with data.
  • The global gender pay gap stands at 23 per cent globally and without decisive action, it will take another 68 years to achieve equal pay. Women’s labour force participation rate is 63 per cent while that of men is 94 per cent.
  • Despite their increasing presence in public life, women continue to do 2.6 times the unpaid care and domestic work that men do.

Targets

TARGET 1.1

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries

TARGET 1.2

8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors

TARGET 1.3

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

TARGET 1 B copy 3

8.4 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production, with developed countries taking the lead

TARGET 1 B copy 4

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

Artboard 23 copy

8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

Artboard 23 copy 2

8.7 Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms

Artboard 23 copy 3

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

Artboard 23 copy 4

8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

Artboard 23 copy 5

8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

TARGET 1 B copy 5

8.A Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries

TARGET 1 B copy 6

8.B By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

SDGs details & targets