Approximately half of the world’s population still lives on about $2 USD per day. Yet with global unemployment rates of 5.7%, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. Substandard working conditions are frequently related to poverty, inequality and discrimination. Certain identity groups such as people with disabilities, women, youth and migrants face persisting and systemic barriers to accessing decent work, and are vulnerable to abuse.

Even though the average annual growth rate of GDP per capita worldwide is increasing yearly, there many countries in the developing world are still 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.

Societies need to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs and contribute to the economy in order for sustainable economic growth to occur. Commitments need to be made to increase access to financial services so that people can manage their incomes, accumulate assets and make meaningful investments . Targeted actions on trade, banking and agriculture infrastructure will also help economic growth in the world’s most impoverished regions. We need a shift in thinking to repackage our social and economic policies aimed at eradicating poverty and promoting decent work for all.

Average Annual Growth Rate of GDP

Although the average annual growth rate of real GDP per capita worldwide was 1.6 per cent from 2010 to 2015 – compared with 0.9 per cent from 2005 to 2009 –  the lease developed countries saw a decrease from 4.6 per cent to 2.5 per cent in the same time frame. Overall average annual GDP growth in the least developed countries followed a similar trend, decelerating from 7.1 per cent in 2005 -2009 to 4.9 per cent in 2010-2015, significantly below the Sustainable Development Goals target of 7 per cent.

Labour Productivity & Unemployment

Labour productivity (annual growth rate of real GDP per worker) globally was impacted greatly by the financial crisis in 2009, dropping from 2.9 per cent from 2000 to 2009 to just 1.9 per cent from 2009 to 2016. The financial crisis greatly impacted the global economy, with adverse effects on living standards and real wages.

The global unemployment rate stood at 5.7 per cent in 2016, with women more likely to be unemployed than men across all age groups. Youth were almost three times as likely as adults to be unemployed, with unemployment rates of 12.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively, in 2016. Moreover, in more than 76 per cent of countries with data, more than 1 in 10 youth are neither in the educational system nor working. Young women are more likely than young men to fall into that category in almost 70 per cent of countries with data.

Child Labour

Child labour remains a serious concern despite the fact that there has been a 32 per cent decrease in the number of children who are working since 2000. More than half of child labourers (85 million children) participate in hazardous work and 59 per cent of them work in the agricultural sector. Girls have made greater progress than boys, with the number of girls engaged in child labour declining by 40 per cent during the period 2000-2012, compared to a decline of 25 per cent for boys.

Access To Financial Services

On a positive note, access to financial services through automated teller machines increased by 55 per cent worldwide from 2010 to 2015. Commercial bank branches grew by 5 per cent during the same period, with the lower growth explained by increased digital access to financial services. Globally, there were 60 automated teller machines and 17 commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults in 2015. From 2011 to 2014, 700 million adults became new account holders and the share of adults with an account at a financial institution increased from 51 per cent to 61 per cent. Access to financial services is essential for decent work and economic growth, as these services help people to manage their income and fluctuating cash flows, and accumulate assets.


600 Million New Jobs By 2030

Decent work is key to sustainable development. It is estimated that over 600 million new jobs need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of the global working age population. We also need to improve conditions for the 780 million women and men who are working but not earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Decent Work Transforms Societies

The Sustainable Development Goals set targets for the next fifteen years. As the process of achieving the 17 Goals gains momentum, putting decent work and strengthening social protection are crucial to achieving global prosperity. Decent work transforms societies for the better, driving development that is more equitable, inclusive and sustainable.

State-Funded Internship Grants

Information and communication technologies accelerate progress towards each SDG. State-funded internship grants allow companies to hire interns who benefit from equitable working conditions and develop in-demand digital skills that will help them in the future economy.


The private sector drives job creation and economic growth, and have tremendous influence over the economic activity through their value chains. CompDecent work opportunities are good for business and society. Businesses that uphold labor standards locally and internationally across their value chain not only face lower risk of reputational damage and legal liability, but grow in value. Ensuring hiring practices are equitable and embracing diversity leads to higher productivity and greater access to skilled talent.

GRI, UNGC Release 'Practical Guide' for Companies to Report Their Impact on the SDGs

Many companies already act and report on climate change, water management and labor conditions. This guide can help companies take stock of their current actions and discover additional priorities to contribute to achieving the SDGs (read more).

KPMG: How to Report on the SDGs & Global Goals

4 in 10 of the world’s largest companies already reference the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their corporate reporting, suggesting that business interest in the SDGs has grown quickly since their launch in September 2015 (read more).

Project Breakthrough: Growing The Businesses of Tomorrow

If we are going to achieve a sustainable future, as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the role of business will be critical. In fact, if viewed in the right way, achieving the SDGs presents huge market opportunities for businesses (read more).


1) Media Package

  1. Program Photographs & Illustrations (Max. 10 Images)
  2. Detailed Project Description (Max. 500 Words)
  3. Optional: URL/Link to Supporting Video

2) Financial & Strategic

In order to determine financial performance & potential for scalability, please answer the following questions:

  1. Please describe how the SDG business initiative is linked to your company’s core competency/competencies.
  2. Please provide an overview of the business case associated with your SDG business initiative.
  3. Please provide evidence of planned program expansion over the coming quarters and/or fiscal years.

3) Magnetism & Inspiration

How has your business initiative been a source of magnetism and inspiration? Please provide examples of your company’s  influence on each of the following:

  1. Industry Impact
  2. Corporate Culture
  3. Key Stakeholder Groups

SDG #8 - Decent Work & Economic Growth - The Global SDG Awards

4) SDG Impact Metrics

What progress has your organization made towards achieving SDG #8? Please select and provide one (or more) supporting metrics to help evaluate your social impacts (see below for a list of possible options to select from).

Please describe how has your company has:

  • Eliminated the number of children aged 5–17 years engaged in child labor within your direct operations, supply chain and/or region (by % of target population or total # of individuals).
  • Created jobs and promoted local products & culture through sustainable tourism. Please provide # of local jobs sustained at a living wage, and $ USD in community investments related to clean water, health-care services, or telecommunications, etc.
  • Increased the proportion of adults (15 years and older) with an account at a bank, financial institution, or mobile-money-service provider (by % of target population or total # of individuals).
  • Improved fair working conditions for employees (and employees within your value/supply chain), reduced accident rates and improved corporate health & safety programs.
  • Increased the number of youth (individuals between the ages of 15 and 35) enrolled in school, attending training or actively employed.
  • Other KPI (please insert and describe).


OPTIONAL: Please provide a description/overview of 3rd party assurances relating to the verification of the metrics and figures provided above.


SDG #1 - No Poverty - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #2 - Zero Hunger - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #3 - Good Health & Well-Being - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #4 - Quality Education - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #5 - Gender Equality - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #6 - Clean Water & Sanitation - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #7 - Affordable & Clean Energy - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #8 - Decent Work & Economic Growth - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #10 - Reduced Inequalities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #12 - Responsible Consumption & Production - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #13 - Climate Action - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #14 - Life Below Water - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #15 - Life On Land - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #16 - Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions - The Global SDG Awards
SDG #17 - Partnerships For The Goals - The Global SDG Awards