Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
Yemen has long been recognized as the poorest country in the region and has yet to be fully-integrated to the global economy. As a consequence of low confidence levels, money and assets have been diverted out of the country and invested elsewhere for decades.
By the end of 2015, roughly one-quarter of all businesses had closed and exports of oil and natural gas – once the country’s principal commodity – had tumbled by 85 per cent, leaving Yemen with limited foreign exchange. Imports have been halved – and with the operations of the Central Bank of Yemen difficult – they being directed primarily through unofficial channels. Gross domestic product decreases every year, shrinking nearly 28 per cent in 2015, 9.8 per cent in 2016, and 7.5 per cent in 2017. The government has been unable to pay its employees and many Yemenis have lost their jobs or income sources. As a result, some have resorted to negative coping mechanisms – taking their children out of school, forcing girls under 18 to marry or recruiting children to participate in violence.
The SDGs promote sustained economic growth, higher levels of productivity and technological innovation. Encouraging entrepreneurship and job creation are key to this, as are effective measures to eradicate forced labour, slavery and human trafficking. With these targets in mind, the goal is to achieve full and productive employment, and decent work, for all women and men by 2030.
An estimated 172 million people worldwide were without work in 2018 - an unemployment rate of 5 percent.
As a result of an expanding labour force, the number of unemployed is projected to increase by 1 million every year and reach 174 million by 2020.
Some 700 million workers lived in extreme or moderate poverty in 2018, with less than US$3.20 per day.
Women’s participation in the labour force stood at 48 per cent in 2018, compared with 75 percent for men. Around 3 in 5 of the 3.5 billion people in the labour force in 2018 were men.
Overall, 2 billion workers were in informal employment in 2016, accounting for 61 per cent of the world’s workforce.
Many more women than men are underutilized in the labour force—85 million compared to 55 million.