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SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth

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

SDG8 is a complicated goal that takes into account economic growth, the sustainable aspects of such growth, employment, and the principle of leaving no one behind.

Our forecast includes three factors - growth, footprint of said growth, and inclusiveness.

SDG8 does not have a goal of high economic output, only on the growth rates. In our model, growth rates for the two regions that already have high output per person are expected to be very low, while China and the developing countries that have lower initial output per person, are expected to have much higher growth. The developing countries succeed better than the developed world on decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, where significant improvements are expected. The employment figures are unreliable for large parts of the world and thus challenging to forecast, but the Palma ratio indicates large challenges with distribution all over the world.


ROW, BRISE, and China succeed with high growth and improved sustainability of this growth, but fail on distribution, and so get a yellow rating. USA and OECD fail both on growth and distribution of growth, but partly succeed on sustainability of growth. They get a red rating.

Understanding the score

Five regions: USA, OECD (excl. USA), China, BRISE (Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and 10 other emerging economies), ROW (rest of the world).
Green light: Goal likely to be reached.
Orange light: Goal not likely to be reached, but more than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.
Red light: Goal not likely to be reached, and less than 50% of the gap between today's status and the goal is likely to be closed.

NYK: Decent work and economic growth

“The concept of decent work is indeed challenging," says NYK Senior Management Corporate Officer, Yasuo Tanaka. "Distribution of wealth might on a high level indicate fair distribution of work, but for the individual decent work starts with work at all.”

As an example, assuming quick development of digitalization of the labour markets, we might not always see both human dignity and employment at the same time during the transition. Decency is culture-dependent and hard to measure on the same scale across markets. Maybe we will never come to a state of mind where we are satisfied with the level of decency. But maybe it’s the best forecast to trust, namely that fair distribution and reduced inequality will not be achieved in any region.

"The most important thing business can do, is to contribute to sustainable development and provide long-lasting capacity building for developing countries."

For business to succeed, public policy and strong governance for effective taxation, positive incentives and smart regulation are crucial. With a global level playing field, business can focus on solving problems and take on the role of Corporate Statesmanship. Of course, this is key in emerging markets and in countries currently facing governance challenges.

For the complete forecast on SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth and the full NYK story, download the report.

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