Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

There are too few high quality jobs that guarantee human dignity around the world. In less developed parts of the world, the economy is growing too slowly. Wages and working conditions are thus poor for many people.

In 2016 almost 6 per cent of the world’s population were unemployed, and the figure is rising. Even more people can barely survive on what they earn, and are poor although they work. Women and young people, who often have no training, are particularly badly affected. On top of this, child labour is still widespread in some countries, denying children the right to attend school. Their families need what they earn in order to survive. Very few companies around the world have put their production and business activities on a sustainable footing. They are thus jeopardising the wellbeing of many people as well as destroying natural resources.

What must be done?

One major precondition for sustainable development is a healthy economy. We need not only more jobs, but companies that deal responsibly with the environment, offer humane working conditions and fair wages, and give women and men equal opportunities. To ensure that as many young people as possible undertake vocational training, a global strategy for youth employment is to be implemented as of 2020. And by 2030, the worst forms of exploitation and child labour are to be abolished. The economy is to become more sustainable at global level, while less developed countries are to chalk up economic growth of at least seven per cent a year. It is up to the political level to foster productivity, resource efficiency and innovation.

Facts and figures

  • More than 200 million people around the world are unemployed. In Western Asia and North Africa twice as many women as men have no job.
  • About 30 per cent of the working population of the world have to survive on less than USD 3.10 a day, and are thus classed as the “working poor”.
  • Working conditions for about 80 per cent of people in developing countries are precarious, with poor pay and no regular working hours or too few hours.

8.1 Sustain economic growth

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

8.2 Increase productivity

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

8.3 Development-oriented policies

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

8.4 Sustainable development

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

8.5 Full employment and decent work

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

8.6 Education and employment for young people

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

8.7 Eradicate child and forced labour

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

8.8 Protect labour rights

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

8.9 Promote sustainable tourism

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

8.10 Access to financial services

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

8.a Increase exports from developing countries

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

8.b Global strategy for youth employment

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

“Social entrepreneurship is still unknown in many countries. Especially in South and Southeast Europe, such a model involving the drive to self-sufficiency while solving social problems could be a small step on the path out of the crisis.”

Source: Alumniportal interview

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