SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. Substandard working conditions are often related to poverty, inequality and discrimination. In many contexts, certain groups – such as workers with disabilities, women workers, youth, and migrants, among others – face particular obstacles in accessing decent work and may be especially vulnerable to abuses.

  • Employment growth since 2008 has averaged only 0.1% annually, compared with 0.9% between 2000 and 2007
  • Over 60 per cent of all workers lack any kind of employment contract
  • Fewer than 45 per cent of wage and salaried workers are employed on a full-time, permanent basis, and even that share is declining.
  • By 2019, more than 212 million people will be out of work, up from the current 201 million
  • 600 million new jobs need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of the working age population

Businesses are engines for job creation and economic growth and foster economic activity through their value chain. Decent work opportunities are good for business and society. Companies that uphold labor standards across their own operations and value chains face lower risk of reputational damage and legal liability. Instituting non-discriminatory practices and embracing diversity and inclusion will also lead to greater access to skilled, productive talent.

  • Employment
  • Economic inclusion
  • Non-discrimination
  • Capacity Building
  • Availability of a skilled workforce
  • Elimination of forced or compulsory labor

The below examples are non-exhaustive and some may be more relevant to certain industries than to others.

  • Offer apprenticeship opportunities.
  • Foster entrepreneurial culture and invest in or mentor young entrepreneurs.
  • Initiate skills development programs moving down company supply chains.
  • Put in place mechanisms to identify child labor and forced labor throughout global supply chains, and implement remediation when abuses are discovered.
  • Install a firm policy against unfair hiring and recruitment practices, particularly of vulnerable groups such as migrant workers.
  • GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G4-11: Report the percentage of total employees covered by collective bargaining agreements
  • GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G4-LA2: Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees, by significant locations of operation
  • GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G4-LA9: Average hours of training per year per employee by gender, and by employee category
  • UN Global Compact- Oxfam Poverty Footprint, PF-3.2: Average working hours per week, including overtime
  • Women’s World Banking Gender Performance Indicators

The complete overview of business indicators can be found at Business Indicators

  • WBCSD Measuring Socio-Economic Impact
  • Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)
  • Human Rights Compliance Assessment (HRCA)

UN Global Compact - Oxfam Poverty Footprint

The complete overview of business tools can be found at Business Tools

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances, and in particular at least 7% per annum GDP growth in the least-developed countries

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

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises including through access to financial services

8.4 Improve progressively through 2030 global resource efficiency in consumption and production, and endeavor to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation in accordance with the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production with developed countries taking the lead

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

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

8.8 Protect labor rights and promote safe and secure working environments of all workers, including migrant workers, particularly women migrants, and those in precarious employment

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

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

8.a. Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, particularly LDCs, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for LDCs

8.b. By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the ILO Global Jobs Pact