United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Global Wage Report 2016/17

Publication Year: 2017 Publisher: International Labour Organization (ILO)


The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identified decent work for all women and men, and lower inequality, as among the key objectives of a new universal policy agenda. The issues of wage growth and wage inequality are central to this agenda. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 calls for “sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, and highlights the importance of achieving equal pay for work of equal value. SDG 10 seeks to “reduce inequality within and among coun-tries”, emphasizing income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population, the elimination of discrimination and the adoption of fiscal, wage and social protec-tion policies to progressively achieve greater equality. The labour income share of GDP, which reflects the relationship between the growth in average wages and in labour productivity, has been identified as a crucial indicator in this area. Concern about inequality has also been expressed by the G20, which identified widening inequality as posing challenges for social and political cohesion and having sig-nificant costs for economic growth.