SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth

SDG 8

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

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day with global unemployment rates of 5.7% and having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty in many places. This slow and uneven progress requires us to rethink and retool our economic and social policies aimed at eradicating poverty.

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.

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.

Facts and Figures

  •     The global unemployment rate in 2017 was 5.6%, down from 6.4% in 2000.
  •     Globally, 61% of all workers were engaged in informal employment in 2016. Excluding the agricultural sector, 51% of all workers fell into this employment category.
  •     Men earn 12.5% 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.
  •     470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labor market between 2016 and 2030.

Space-based Technologies for SDG 8

More effort is needed globally to increase economic productivity and create more and better jobs. The space industry is worth around US$ 385 billion as of 2017 and some expect this figure to surpass US$ 1 trillion by 2040. Accessing the sector can promote economic growth and innovation and create jobs.
UNOOSA helps countries leverage space to increase economic productivity and raise the number of youth in employment, education or training. Read more here.

SDG 8 Targets

Learn more about the SDGs

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