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| Goal 8: 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.

COVID-19 has changed billions of lives and endangered the global economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts a global recession as bad or worse than in 2009. As job losses intensify, the International Labor Organization estimates that about half of all workers in the world are at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, one in five countries (where billions of people live in poverty live) would likely see their per capita income stagnate or decline by 2020. Today, the economic and financial shocks stemming from COVID-19 (like changes in industrial production, falling commodity prices, financial market volatility and increased insecurity) are hampering already timid economic growth and exacerbating the heightened risks of other factors.


The COVID-19 pandemic triggered a historic recession with record levels of deprivation and unemployment, creating an unprecedented humanitarian crisis whose worst consequences are being suffered by the poorest.

In April 2020, the United Nations developed a framework for the immediate socioeconomic response to COVID-19 as a roadmap to support countries on their path to social and economic recovery. This framework requires an extraordinary strengthening of international aid and political commitment to ensure that people around the world have access to essential services and social protection. The socioeconomic response framework consists of five lines of work:

  1. Ensure essential health services remain available and protect health systems.

  2. Help people face adversity through social protection and basic services.

  3. Protect jobs and support small and medium businesses and informal sector workers through economic response and recovery programs.

  4. Guide the necessary increase in fiscal and financial stimuli so that macroeconomic policies favor the most vulnerable​​ and strengthen multilateral and regional responses.

  5. Promote social cohesion and invest in community-driven resilience and response systems.

These five lines of work are connected by a strong imperative of environmental sustainability and gender equality for better reconstruction.

The UN Secretary-General emphasized that recovery from the COVID-19 crisis must lead to a different economy.

In addition to the immediate response to the crisis, the pandemic must be the impetus to sustain the gains made and accelerate the implementation of long-overdue measures to lead the world on a more sustainable development path and make the global economy more resilient to future shocks.


| Notable Data  

  • In 2017, the global unemployment rate stood at 5.6%, against 6.4% in 2000.

  • Worldwide, in 2016, 61% of workers had unregulated work. With the exception of the agricultural sector, 51% of all workers were included in this employment category.

  • Men earn 12.5% more than women in 40 of the 45 countries for which data is available.

  • The global gender pay gap is 23 percent, and if no action is taken, it will take another 68 years to achieve equal pay. The participation rate of women in the labor force is 63%, while that of men is 94%.

  • Despite their growing presence in public life, women continue to perform 2.6 times more unpaid care and housework than men.

  • Between 2016 and 2030, 470 million jobs are needed around the world for those who will enter the job market for the first time.

| Goal 8

8.1   Maintaining economic growth per capita according to national circumstances and, in particular, the growth of the gross domestic product of at least 7% per year in the least developed countries

8.2   Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological updating and innovation, including focusing on high value-added and labor-intensive sectors

8.3   Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, the creation of decent jobs, 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  Progressively improve, by 2030, the efficient production and consumption of the world's resources and seek to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the Decennial Framework for Sustainable Consumption and Production Programs, starting with developed countries

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

8.6   By 2020, significantly reduce the proportion of young people who are not employed and do not study or receive training

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

8.8   Protect labor rights and promote a safe and secure working environment for all workers, including migrant workers, especially migrant women and people in precarious employment

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

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

8th   Increase support for the Aid for Trade initiative in developing countries, particularly LDCs, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries on Trade

8.b   By 2020, develop and implement a global youth employment strategy and implement the International Labor Organization Global Jobs Pact

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