Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

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

Targets and Indicators



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


Annual growth rate of real GDP per capita



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


Annual growth rate of real GDP per employed person



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


Proportion of informal employment in total employment, by sector and sex



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


Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP


Domestic material consumption, domestic material consumption per capita, and domestic material consumption per GDP



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


Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age and persons with disabilities


Unemployment rate, by sex, age and persons with disabilities



By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training


Proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) not in education, employment or training



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


Proportion and number of children aged 5‑17 years engaged in child labour, by sex and age



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


Fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers, by sex and migrant status


Level of national compliance with labour rights (freedom of association and collective bargaining) based on International Labour Organization (ILO) textual sources and national legislation, by sex and migrant status



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


Tourism direct GDP as a proportion of total GDP and in growth rate



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


(a) Number of commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults and (b) number of automated teller machines (ATMs) per 100,000 adults


Proportion of adults (15 years and older) with an account at a bank or other financial institution or with a mobile-money-service provider



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


Aid for Trade commitments and disbursements



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


Existence of a developed and operationalized national strategy for youth employment, as a distinct strategy or as part of a national employment strategy

Progress and Info

Progress towards achieving SDG8 has been challenging and the world is far from reaching most of the targets. The lingering effects of COVID-19, cost-of-living crises, trade tensions, uncertain monetary policy paths, rising debts in developing countries, and the war in Ukraine can each significantly set back global economic growth. Combined, these crises are placing the global economy under a serious threat. Global real GDP per capita is forecast to slow down in 2023, putting at risk not just employment and income but also advances in equitable pay for women and decent work for young people. Achieving SDG8 will require a wholesale reform of our morally bankrupt financial system in order to tackle rising debts, economic uncertainties and trade tensions, while promoting equitable pay and decent work for young people.

• Target 8.1: Following a sharp decline of 4.1% in 2020, global real GDP per capita increased by 5.0% in 2021. However, growth in global real GDP per capita is forecast to slow down to 2.1% in 2022 and further to 1.0% in 2023, before recovering somewhat to a growth rate of 1.8% in 2024. The growth in real GDP of LDCs slowed down from 5% in 2019 to just 0.2% in 2020 before recovering to 2.6% in 2021. It is expected that the growth in real GDP of LDCs would strengthen to 4.3% in 2022 and to 4.4% and 5.4% in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
• Target 8.2: After a sharp decline in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, labour productivity rebounded in 2021 by 2.4%. Productivity growth slowed in 2022, increasing by only 0.5%. However, even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, productivity growth had been slowing around the world. The latest estimates extend the downward growth trend, from an average annual rate of 1.8% between 2000-14 to 1.4% between 2015-22.
• Target 8.3: Globally, 58.0% of those employed were in informal employment in 2022, amounting to around 2 billion workers in precarious jobs, most lacking any form of social protection. Prior to the onset of the pandemic, the incidence of informal employment had been slowly declining and stood at 57.8% in 2019. The pandemic resulted in a disproportionate job loss for informal workers, particularly for women, in 2020. The subsequent recovery from COVID-19 has been driven by informal employment, which has caused a slight increase in the incidence of informality.
• Target 8.5: Equal treatment in employment, including fair and equitable earnings, is fundamental for achieving decent work for all. The median gender pay gap across 102 countries is approximately 14%. However, this calculation is only based on average hourly earnings, thus not controlling for characteristics such as the sector or occupation, educational level or amount of work experience.
• Target 8.5: The global unemployment rate declined significantly in 2022, falling to 5.8% from a peak of 6.9% in 2020 as economies began recovering from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite an uncertain global economic outlook, unemployment is projected to increase only moderately, as a large part of the shock is being absorbed by falling real wages in an environment of accelerating inflation. Global unemployment is projected to edge up slightly in 2023, by around 3 million, to reach 208 million, corresponding to an unemployment rate of 5.8%.
Target 8.6: Globally, nearly one in four (23.5%) young people were not in education, employment, or training (NEET) in 2022. Although this is a slight decrease since 2020, when the NEET rate was at an all-time high, it remains above the 2015 baseline of 22.2% and a long way from the 2030 target.
• Target 8.7: The latest estimates indicate that the number of children in child labour rose to 160 million worldwide at the beginning of 2020 – an increase of 8.4 million children in the last four years. This translates to almost 1 in 10 of all children in child labour worldwide.
• Target 8.9: The share of tourism in global GDP nearly halved in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 data shows a very modest 6% upturn, indicating that tourism’s economic contribution is on the path to recovery.
• Target 8.10: Accelerated adoption of digital solutions is transforming access to finance. Globally, in 2021, 76% of adults had an account at a bank or regulated institution such as a credit union, microfinance institution, or a mobile money service provider, an increase from 62% in 2014.