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

Economic Growth2020-05-29T12:45:11-04:00

Sustained and inclusive economic growth can drive progress, create decent jobs for all and improve living standards. 

COVID-19 has disrupted billions of lives and endangered the global economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a global recession as bad as or worse than in 2009. As job losses escalate, the International Labor Organization estimates that nearly half of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, one in five countries – home to billions of people living in poverty – were likely to see per capita incomes stagnate or decline in 2020. Now, the economic and financial shocks associated with COVID-19—such as disruptions to industrial production, falling commodity prices, financial market volatility, and rising insecurity—are derailing the already tepid economic growth and compounding heightened risks from other factors.  

COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a historic recession with record levels of deprivation and unemployment, creating an unprecedented human crisis that is hitting the poorest hardest. 

In April 2020, the United Nations released a framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19, as a roadmap to support countries’ path to social and economic recovery. It calls for an extraordinary scale-up of international support and political commitment to ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection. The socio-economic response framework consists of five streams of work:

  1. Ensuring that essential health services are still available and protecting health systems; 
  2. Helping people cope with adversity, through social protection and basic services; 
  3. Protecting jobs, supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and informal sector workers through economic response and recovery programmes; 
  4. Guiding the necessary surge in fiscal and financial stimulus to make macroeconomic policies work for the most vulnerable and strengthening multilateral and regional responses; and 
  5. Promoting social cohesion and investing in community-led resilience and response systems.

These five streams are connected by a strong environmental sustainability and gender equality imperative to build back better

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

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

  • 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.

8.1 Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries

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

8.3 Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, 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 Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-year framework of programmes 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 eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

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

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

8.A Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries

8.B By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

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