Why the Goal Matter (SDG 8)

What’s the goal here? 

To promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all. 


Poverty eradication is only possible through stable and well-paid jobs. Nearly 2.2 billion people live below the US$1.90 poverty line. 

How many people are unemployed? 

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), 5.6 per cent of the global population were unemployed as of 2017. In 2018, the total number of unemployed people remains high – above 192 million – and it is harder to find decent jobs. 

How many jobs are needed? 

470 million jobs are needed globally for new entrants to the labour market between 2016 and 2030, just to keep up with the growth of the global working age population. That’s around 30 million per year. 

So if they all got a job will extreme poverty end? 

In addition to creating jobs, we also need to improve conditions for the some 783 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 highest possible quality, providing youth with skills that match labour market demands, giving them access to social protection and basic services regardless of their contract type, as well as levelling 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.