Growth and Employment


Around 900 million adults in the developing world are unable to earn enough to keep their families above the US$ 2-a-day per person poverty line; 200 million people are unemployed globally, among them 75 million young people; hundreds of millions more work long hours under inhumane conditions and with no job security in the informal economy. Poverty remains either a stark reality or a real threat for the majority of workers in the developing world, despite the rapid economic growth that has characterized many regions over the past decade.

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), global unemployment is estimated to have increased from 170 million in 2007 to 197 million in 2011. Projections are that unemployment will increase to 206 million in 2016. The global challenge is how to create productive and decent jobs for the working poor, the approximately 200 million out of work and for the 40 million people entering the labor force every year, plus the “discouraged workers” who have simply stopped looking for work.

The Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Agenda has focused primarily on creating development policies toward achieving poverty reduction. However, despite having employment-related targets for achieving poverty reduction and gender equality, it is important to recognize that decent employment is the key component for achieving human development; employment that ensures workers are productive, safe, and adequately remunerated. Earning poverty wages and loss of income from unemployment lead to poor nutritional intake, as households either purchase less food or opt for low quality dietary sources.

Consultation – Objectives

In October 2012, representatives of UN Agencies (co-led by ILO and UNDP, with the participation of FAO, MDG Achievement Fund, UNCDF, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNIDO, and UN Women) established an Advisory Group to coordinate and guide further consultations on growth and employment. The Advisory Group will be expanded to include civil society and private sector representation.

Consultation – Process

1.) Sharpen, consolidate, disseminate ideas coming from Tokyo meeting, as well as those discussed in other fora, such as Rio+20 and UN ECOSOC meetings.

2.) Connect with themes and issues arising from national consultations on post 2015

3.) Elicit inputs and suggestions from wider range of experts, academics, practitioners.

4.) Outline main practical implications for new global framework, as it concerns the setting of goals and targets, national and international policy means to achieve them, and indicators to monitor progress

Outputs of consultations will feed into intergovernmental discussions on Post 2015 Development Agenda.


1.) May 2013 – Report by High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLP) to Secretary General

2.) Report of UN SG to be submitted to UN GA in advance of 68th Session of UN GA


  • Jan-Sept 2013 – Invitation of experts and practitioners to write articles and blogs on international and national dimensions of policies on growth and employment in Post 2015 Development Agenda
  • Jan-Sept 2013 – Production of a monthly newsletter, with selected articles and blogs from above featured in newsletter. Global dissemination of newsletter.
  • Feb 2013 – Organization of an expert meeting
  • Jan – Sept 2013 – Engagement and communication through media and social media

Major efforts need to be made for genuine participation of people (civil society, social movements, trade unions, workers and private sector) in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of the new agenda so that it is informed by reality. A Consultation on Growth and Employment for the Post 2015 Development Framework was held in Tokyo, Japan from 15-16 May 2012.

Source: “Proposal for Thematic Consultations on Growth and Employment in Post 2015 Development Agenda” – 21 December 2012 –