DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: WHY IT MATTERS
What’s the goal here?
To promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards.
While real GDP per capita and labour productivity have increased globally, 731 million people remain below the US$1.90 poverty line.
How many people are unemployed?
The global unemployment rate has finally recovered from the global financial crisis of 2009. In 2018,
it stood at 5 per cent— matching the precrisis level. However, large disparities exist across regions and age groups. In 2018, the unemployment rates in Northern Africa and Western Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean were over 2.5 times higher than those in Central and Southern Asia.
Are jobs enough?
Having a job does not guarantee a decent living. In fact, 8 per cent of employed workers and their families worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2018.
In addition to creating jobs, we also need to improve conditions for more than 700 million women and men who are working, but not earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
In addition, women and girls must enjoy equal access to equal opportunities with men and boys for employment.
I have a job. Why does this matter to me?
Society as a whole benefits when more people are being productive and contributing to their country’s growth. Productive employment and “decent work” are key elements to achieving fair globalization and poverty reduction. In addition, unemployment can lead to unrest and disrupt peace
if it is left unaddressed.
What does “decent work” mean?
Decent work means opportunities for everyone to get work that is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the workplace and social protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration.
It is also important that all women and men are given equal opportunities in the workplace. 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.
What can we do to fix these issues?
Providing youth the best opportunity to transition to a decent job calls for investing in education and training of the high- est possible quality, providing youth with skills that match labour market
demands, giving them access to social protection and basic services regard- less of their contract type, as well as leveling the playing field so that all aspiring youth can attain productive employment regardless of their gender, income level or socio-economic background.
Governments can work to build dynamic, sustainable, innovative and people-centred economies, promoting youth employment and women’s economic empowerment, in particular, and decent work for all. 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.
To find out more about Goal #8 and other Sustainable Development Goals, visit: