Documents to download

According to the International Labour Organisation:

Roughly half the world’s population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn’t guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. 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. . The creation of quality jobs will remain a major challenge for almost all economies well beyond 2015.

Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs that stimulate the economy while not harming the environment. Job opportunities and decent working conditions are also required for the whole working age population.

Goal 8 of the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals makes promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all a key objective for the world to achieve by 2030.

A set of targets are attached to this goal, viz:

  • 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
  • Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education 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
  • 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
  • By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
  • Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
  • 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
  • By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

A set of measurable indicators for each SDG is also in the process of being finalised. Those proposed for Goal 8 can be found here.

In January 2014, the Department for International Development published a Strategic Framework for Economic Development, setting out a plan to target £1.8 billion of its budget on economic development (more than doubling the amount spent in 2012/13) by 2015/16.  It stated that its overall objective in this area is to reduce poverty and increase prosperity by creating jobs and increasing incomes through the promotion of high, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact published a report on DFID’s private sector development work in May 2014, giving it an overall ‘Amber/Red’ rating.  It found that, while the impact of DFID’s individual programmes in this area is positive and the Department has demonstrated its ability to assist the poor through a range of interventions, it has not yet turned these ambitions into clear guidance for the development of coherent, realistic, well-balanced and joined-up country-level portfolios.  

In March 2015, the International Development Committee published a report of its own on jobs and livelihoods. Amongst its recommendations was: “Jobs and livelihoods is such an important issue we recommend that our successor Committee takes it up in the next Parliament to assess what progress has been made.”

The new UK aid strategy, published in November 2015, reiterated the Government’s commitment to promoting economic development.

Documents to download

Related posts