SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress. Even though the average annual growth rate of real GDP per capita worldwide is increasing year on year, there are still many countries in the developing world that are decelerating in their growth rates and moving farther from the 7% growth rate target set for 2030.
As labor productivity decreases and unemployment rates rise, standards of living begin to decline due to lower wages.
Promote inclusive and sustainable economic
growth, employment and decent work for all
Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working age population.
There needs to be increased access to financial services to manage incomes, accumulate assets and make productive investments. Increased commitments to trade, banking and agriculture infrastructure will also help increase productivity and reduce unemployment levels in the world’s most impoverished regions.
- Sustainable economic growth drives development by providing more resources for education, health, personal consumption, and infrastructure. It also provides better employment opportunities that help eradicate poverty.
- However, many countries are depleting their natural resources for the sake of economic growth and thus shifting the burden of environmental degradation and damage to future generations. Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy without harming the environment.
- According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), more than 204 million people were unemployed as of 2015. Globally, 470 million jobs (roughly 30 million per year) are needed for new entrants to the labour market between 2016 and 2030.
- We also need to improve conditions for the roughly 780 million working people who remain in poverty and the women and girls who are not allowed equal opportunities for employment.
- We also need to address the fact that child labour remains a serious concern, with 1 in 10 children worldwide engaged in child labour in 2012; more than half of them (85 million) exposed to hazardous forms of work.
- Decent work means opportunities for everyone to get work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace, social protection for families, better prospects for personal development, and social integration.
- You can encourage your government leaders to help youth transition to decent jobs by investing in education, providing them with skills that match labour demands, giving them access to social protection and basic services regardless of their contract type, and leveling the playing field so that all aspiring youth can attain productive employment regardless of their gender, income level or socio-economic background.
- Local authorities and communities can renew and plan their cities and human settlements so as to foster community cohesion and personal security and to stimulate innovation and employment.
- 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
- Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
- 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
- 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
- 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
- By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
- 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
- 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
- By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
- Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
- 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
- By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization
• As a member of society, your active engagement in policy-making ensures that your voice is heard, knowledge is shared, and that critical thinking is encouraged at all ages. Policymakers can help generate job opportunities and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth and reduce poverty.
• As a member of the science and academic community, you can help discover sustainable solutions for the challenges of reducing poverty. Thanks to this community, there is now greater access to safe drinking water, reduced deaths caused by water-borne diseases, and improved hygiene to reduce health risks related to unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation.
What can I
do about it
You can help create a community of people and participate in the decision-making and implementation processes. Educate yourself about the issues we face as a global family, connect with like-minded people and take action.
Ask questions to your leaders about what they’re doing in regards to economic growth. Focus your attention on actionable steps because no step is too small to make a difference. Join our community and help create a better world.