Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.


Sustainable economic growth

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.


Diversify, innovate and upgrade for economic productivity

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


Promote policies to support job creation and growing enterprises

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.


Improve resource efficiency in consumption and production

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.


Full employment and decent work with equal pay

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.


Promote youth employment, education and training

By 2030, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training.


End modern slavery, trafficking and child labour

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.


Protect labour rights and promote safe working environments

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.


Promote beneficial and sustainable tourism

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


Universal access to banking, insurance and financial services

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


Increase aid for trade support

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.


Develop a global youth employment strategy

By 2030, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization.

Globally, more than 204 million people are unemployed.

Current Situation

In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment, which has nearly tripled between 1991 and 2015. However, as the global economy continues to recover from the 2008 crisis, we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force.

COVID-19 has endangered the global economy; the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects a global recession as bad as or worse than in 2009.

In the United States, COVID-19 outbreak resulted in an increase of unemployed Americans by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020.

34 %

of total employment in developing countries belong to the middle class

14 Mio

increase of unemployed Americans since the outbreak of COVID-19

Impact Opportunity

The UN currently works with many organizations to address social and economic gaps, focusing on emerging economies where design and implementation of green economies and sustainable tourism will benefit local communities.

Target regions include Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. In addition, the private sector can support sustainable economic growth by adhering to international labour standards of fair wages, working time standards, safety standards and respect for equality.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global GDP per capita is expected to decline by over 4% in 2020 resulting in the worst economic recession since the great depression with the International Labor Organization estimating that nearly 50% of the global workforce is at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global GDP per capita is expected to decline by over 4% in 2020.


WATCH: KDD Keynote 2018 with James Hodson (AI for Good).

KDD 2018 Keynote

Unlocking Granular Data Opportunities for Finance

The availability of large micro-detailed data sets offers the opportunity for the financial industry to ask big questions, and to understand better the economic dynamics at play.

The crucial thing is to ask the right questions and explore the real world causal connections.

James Hodson from AI for Good shares his thoughts on ‘The future of finance in the age of big-data’ and next steps in this Keynote address at KDD 2018.

WATCH: The Opening Panel for the International inovaBra Forum of Artificial Intelligence

Inovabra Open Panel

Bridging Science, Government & Industry for a Better Future

In this opening panel at Inovabra, James Hodson discusses how industry and artificial intelligence can work together to address big, global challenges like food scarcity and environmental sustainability.

Inovabra is an ecosystem created to promote innovation by Bradesco where partners in Brazil and worldwide address challenges to serve a society in continuous transformation.

WATCH: The Discussion on Organizational Structure for Successful AI Implementation

Inovabra Sessions

Organizational Structure for Successful AI Implementation

A discussion on how artificial intelligence can be successfully implemented and structured with Marko Grobelnik (AI for Good) Marcelo R. Camara (Banco Bradesco), Caudio S. Pinhanez (IBM), Estevam R. Hruschka (AI for Good) and Francisco Rivadeneyra (Bank of Canada).

Inovabra is an ecosystem created to promote innovation by Bradesco where partners in Brazil and worldwide address challenges to serve a society in continuous transformation.

WATCH: James Hodson on The Future of Finance in the Age of Big Data

Inovabra Sessions

The Future of Finance in the Age of Big Data

James Hodson from AI for Good explores several open questions at the intersection of individuals, jobs, companies, and financial markets, where new data brings the promise of new understanding, allowing for new types of modeling that can unlock value and accelerate growth.

Inovabra is an ecosystem created to promote innovation by Bradesco where partners in Brazil and worldwide address challenges to serve a society in continuous transformation.

smart cities

Research Paper

Artificial Intelligence, Firm Growth, and Industry Concentration​

By Tania Babina, Anastassia Fedyk, Alex Xi He & James Hodson

Which firms invest in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, and how do these investments affect individual firms and industries? The paper provides a comprehensive picture of the use of AI technologies and their impact among US firms over the last decade, using a unique combination of job postings and individual-level employment profiles. It also introduces a novel measure of investments in AI technologies based on human capital and document that larger firms with higher sales, markups, and cash holdings tend to invest more in AI.


Shared Datasets

child labor

Child Labor

Research by the Oxfard Martin School on child labor internationally.

Covid-19 Fiscal Response

COVID-19 Fiscal Response

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) compiles a database on fiscal measures announced by 141 different governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

working Launchpad employment

COVID-19 impact on employment

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is tracking the impacts on the world of work that has been severely impacted by COVID-19

GDP Growth Inequality

GDP Growth Rates

The OECD’s quarterly national accounts (QNA) dataset presents GDP growth data collected from all the OECD member countries and some other major economies on the basis of a standardised questionnaire.

Ongoing Research

Economic Three men workin in warehouse

Economic Policy Institute

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank created in 1986 to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions.

Big container ship in the ocean monetary

International Monetary Fund Research

IMF eLibrary is a comprehensive source of research, statistics, and over 300 working papers with publications in multiple digital formats. Every year, IMF publishes assessments of global prospects, financial markets, public finance developments and more.


A UN framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19

Goal Partners

Logo International Labour Organization

International Labour Organization

Since 1919, the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States , to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men.



Ovamba’s mission is to support central African economies by improving access to credit for small and medium sized enterprises. Delivering financial access and capital markets to more small and medium sized businesses, Ovamba is helping these SMBs to grow by giving them the tools to invest in their own futures.

Logo International Monetary Fund

International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

We’re applying Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to measure and accelerate progress on the United Nations SDGs. » Learn more

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Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth