SDGs in Action: Decent Work & Economic Growth
12 August 2022 - Impact Hub


“Decent work is at the heart of the search for dignity for the individual, stability for the family and peace in the community.”

Juan Somavia, Former Director-General of the International Labour Organization

Youth Unemployment

We have seen huge setbacks regarding employment and economic growth. The equivalent of 125 million jobs were lost due to the pandemic, with women, youth and people with disabilities being disproportionately affected. In fact, the proportion of youth (age 15-24) not engaged in either education, employment or training increased to 23.3% in 2021 – the equivalent of nearly 20 million young people.

Nothing About Us,
Without Us

Here in Minneapolis, an amazing group of young people fought this inequity by working to reverse an 82-year-old law that prevented youth workers from receiving unemployment insurance while in school. As a result of this record-breaking win resulting in 20,000 young workers getting $30 million in direct economic relief, they formed a social enterprise called Bridgemakers. This youth-led movement aims to amplify voices and mentor the leadership of under-served youth to bridge America’s toughest gaps.

Least Developed Countries At Risk

Global economic recovery continues to be hampered by rising inflation, supply-chain disruptions and labor market challenges. Small firms, the informal employment sector and the poorest countries have been the most affected. In 2021, the average worker in a high-income country produced 13.6 times more than in a low-income country.

However, as economic activity gradually resumes, informal employment, especially self-employment, has strongly rebounded. For example, informal jobs accounted for over 70 percent of jobs in many Latin American Countries.

Designs to Empower Women

Suyana Designs is a Social Enterprise committed to empowering female artisans through employment and education. They strive to preserve indigenous Latin American traditions of handcrafted accessories while providing the knowledge needed for women to break the cycle of poverty.

Founder, Susana Rosas, was inspired by the great care indigenous women take in honoring their traditions. “Each piece historic, creative and one of a kind, just like the women she met.” Today, Suyana Designs exists to encourage female artisans to take their future into their own hands. On top of helping artisans sell their products, Susana hosts locally run programs designed to achieve economic independence and learn skills to be successful in the community.

With COVID-19 causing the worst economic crisis in decades and the U.S. currently facing a possible recession, we need organizations like Bridgemakers and Suyana Designs to continue to think boldly and support those most in need. 

Learn more about SDG 8 – promoting sustained, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.