"People were poor not because they were stupid or lazy. They worked all day long, doing complex physical tasks. They were poor because the financial institution in the country did not help them widen their economic base"

Muhammad Yunus

Decent work is held to be a job that allows a person to work in good and safe conditions, to be paid fairly and to provide his or her family with social protection. Decent work allows us to progress from a professional perspective, to be understood in the workplace and gives men and women the same opportunities.

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Working towards this goal is especially important as it interlinks with other Sustainable Development Goals. Focusing on universal access to energy, increased energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy through new economic and job opportunities is crucial to creating more sustainable and inclusive communities and resilience to environmental issues like climate change.

SDG 8 Explained

Run Time: 1:45 - Aug 9, 2019

Learning About SDG 8

Run Time: 1:32 - Mar 17, 2016

Facts and Figures

Source (United Nations Development Programme)


An estimated 172 million people worldwide were without work in 2018 - an unemployment rate of 5 percent.

1 million

As a result of an expanding labour force, the number of unemployed is projected to increase by 1 million every year and reach 174 million by 2020.

700 million

Some 700 million workers lived in extreme or moderate poverty in 2018, with less than US$3.20 per day.


Women’s participation in the labour force stood at 48 per cent in 2018, compared with 75 percent for men. Around 3 in 5 of the 3.5 billion people in the labour force in 2018 were men.

2 billion

Overall, 2 billion workers were in informal employment in 2016, accounting for 61 per cent of the world’s workforce.

85 million

Many more women than men are underutilized in the labour force—85 million compared to 55 million.

SDG 8 Info

Run Time: 1:48 - Aug 25, 2017

Decent Work

Run Time: 1:50 - Sep 25, 2015

SDG 8 Explained

Run Time: 2:32 - Sep 19, 2019

SDG 8 Explained

Run Time: 2:38 - May 13, 2016

Website: UN Sustainable Development Goals

This website provides facts, targets, printouts, links and related stories and videos about SDG 8 - Work & Economic Growth.

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day with global unemployment rates of 5.7% and having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty in many places. This slow and uneven progress requires us to rethink and retool our economic and social policies aimed at eradicating poverty.

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. Even though the average annual growth rate of real GDP per capita worldwide is increasing year on year, there are still many countries in the developing world that are decelerating in their growth rates and moving farther from the 7% growth rate target set for 2030. As labor productivity decreases and unemployment rates rise, standards of living begin to decline due to lower wages.

Go to website to learn more

Website: SDG Goal Tracker

SDG 8 Targets

This website provides facts, targets, and related  stories about programmes contributing to SDG 8 - Work & Economic Growth.

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

Go to website to learn more

Website: UN Development Programme

This website provides facts, and related stories about SDG 8 - Work & Economic Growth.

Over the past 25 years the number of workers living in extreme poverty has declined dramatically, despite the lasting impact of the 2008 economic crisis and global recession. In developing countries, the middle class now makes up more than 34 percent of total employment – a number that has almost tripled between 1991 and 2015.

However, as the global economy continues to recover we are seeing slower growth, widening inequalities, and not enough jobs to keep up with a growing labour force. According to the International Labour Organization, more than 204 million people were unemployed in 2015.

Go to website to learn more

Additional SDG 8 Videos &  Information 

SDG 8 Ted Talk

Run Time: 11:12 - Feb 16, 2017

SDG 8 Explained

Run Time: 1:55 - Aug 20, 2016

SDG 8 Info

Run Time: 0:43 - Oct 1, 2018

SDG 8 Explained

Run Time: 3:17 - Sep 17, 2019