UN Global Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Solutions Journalism Network

The UN’s 2030 Agenda relies on achieving decent work for all and creating employment through sustainable economic growth. Increasing employment opportunities and income helps to eradicate poverty and raise living standards. Inclusive economic growth creates a larger workforce, thus accelerating economic development. The targets of the UN to reach this goal include:

  • Achieving full and decent employment for all people, including women, youth and persons with disabilities.
  • Protecting labor rights and safe working conditions.
  • Providing opportunities for youth employment, education and training.
  • Eradicating forced labor, human trafficking, child labor, and the recruitment of child soldiers.
  • Separating economic growth from environmental degradation.
  • Promoting growth and job opportunities in the entrepreneurship and sustainable tourism sectors.

Labor productivity, global GDP, and access to finance are all growing, but the progress is uneven. Furthermore, the global economy continues to face enduring issues in gender disparity—only 48 percent of women participate in the labor force, compared to 75 percent of men. According to, at the current rate, "the gender gap, which stands at 23 per cent globally, will not close until 2086—or possibly beyond." In this collection, we learn about efforts to eliminate barriers for female entrepreneurs. In Chile, the government is working to decrease a glaring gender disparity in its startup accelerator program, Start-Up Chile (SUP), by offering training and equity-free funding to female-founded startups.

The stories below also illustrate how communities are embracing new opportunities. Kirk Siegler writes about a Colorado county looking toward the tech sector after the collapse of its coal economy. On the other side of the globe, coastal communities in India grappling with soil salinity are farming seaweed to adapt and provide an income boost. In the Philippines, communities are shifting from farming clams to preserving them—and cashing in on ecotourism. 

Read on to learn about how efforts by labor groups and the Philadelphia city council succeeded in passing legislation to bring crucial labor rights to domestic workers.

Click here for more stories in the Solutions Story Tracker on decent work and economic growth.

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