SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth (statistical annex)
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (statistical annex)
Data extracted in August 2018
Planned article update: September 2019
This article provides an overview of statistical data on SDG 8 ‘Decent work and economic growth’ in the European Union (EU). It is based on the set of EU SDG indicators for monitoring of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in an EU context.
This article is part of a set of statistical articles, which are based on the Eurostat publication ’Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report - 2018 edition’. This report is the second edition of Eurostat’s series of monitoring reports on sustainable development, which provide a quantitative assessment of progress of the EU towards the SDGs in an EU context.
Real GDP per capita
Gross domestic product (GDP) is a measure of economic activity and is commonly used as a proxy for developments in a country’s material living standards. It refers to the value of total final output of goods and services produced by an economy within a certain period of time. Real GDP per capita is calculated as the ratio of real GDP (GDP adjusted for inflation) to the average population of a specific year and is based on rounded figures. Figure 1 shows that based on GDP per capita Europeans have continued to enjoy rising living standards over the past two decades. Between 2002 and 2017, real GDP per capita grew by an average of 1.0 % per year. In the short-term period from 2012 to 2017, growth was even faster, at 1.5 % on average per year.
Investment share of GDP measures the investment for the total economy, government, business as well as household sectors. The indicator is calculated as the share of GDP used for gross investment. It is defined as gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) expressed as a percentage of GDP for the government, business and households sectors.
Total investment share of GDP in the EU has slightly decreased over time. Between 2002 and 2017 total investment fell by an average of 0.3 % per year. However, in the short term between 2012 and 2017 total investment experienced moderate growth of 0.6 % on average per year.
Young people neither in employment nor in education and training
A considerable proportion of young people aged 15 to 29 in the EU are economically inactive. For some this is due to the pursuit of education and training. Others, however, have withdrawn from the labour market or are not entering it after leaving the education system. Those who struggle with the transition from education to work are captured by the statistics on young people who are neither in employment, education nor training (NEET rate). Data presented in this section stem from the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS).
The development of the EU’s total NEET rate was heavily influenced by the economic crisis, as suggested by Figure 5. Between 2002 and 2017, the share of young people aged 15 to 29 who were not employed and not receiving further education or training decreased on average by 1.0 % per year. The short-term decline between 2012 and 2017 was much quicker, averaging 3.4 % per year.
The employment rate is defined as the percentage of employed persons in relation to the comparable total population. The data analysed here focus on the population aged 20 to 64 with the view of monitoring the Europe 2020 strategy target of raising employment rates among this age group to 75 % by 2020 . Data presented in this section stem from the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS).
The EU employment rate grew on average by 0.5 % a year between 2002 and 2017. As shown in Figure 7, this rather slow growth resulted from a period of decline following the onset of the economic crisis in 2008. During the short-term period between 2012 and 2017, growth accelerated to 1.1 % on average per year. While the increases observed over both the long- and short-term periods may not appear fast enough to reach the Europe 2020 employment target of 75 % by 2020, the goal can still be met if the growth recorded from 2013 onwards (1.4 % per year) is sustained.
Long-term unemployment rate
Long-term unemployment is measured for economically active people (which includes employed and unemployed people) aged 15 to 74 who have been unemployed for 12 months or more. Long-term unemployment increases the risk of falling into poverty and has negative implications for society as a whole. Long-term unemployed people in the EU have about half the chance of finding employment as those who where short-term unemployed . Data presented in this section stem from the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS).
In 2017, 8.3 million people or 3.4 % of the active population in the EU were long-term unemployed. The EU’s long-term unemployment rate was strongly affected by the economic crisis and declined on average by 1.3 % per year between 2005 and 2017. In the short term, the rate fell by 5.9 % per year on average.
People killed in accidents at work
Fatal accidents at work are those occurring during the course of employment and lead to the death of the victim within one year. The incidence rate refers to the number of accidents per 100 000 persons in employment. Data presented in this section are collected in the framework of the administrative data collection 'European Statistics on Accidents at Work (ESAW)'. As an exception, accident data for the Netherlands are based on survey data.
In the EU, the incidence rate of fatal accidents at work fell by an average rate of 5.8 % per year between 2011 and 2016. While the time series is not long enough to allow a long-term (at least 10-year) trend to be calculated, available data indicate an almost continuous decline in fatal work accidents in the EU since 2008.
More detailed information on EU SDG indicators for monitoring of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as indicator relevance, definitions, methodological notes, background and potential linkages, can be found in the introduction of the publication ’Sustainable development in the European Union — Monitoring report - 2018 edition’.
- In a majority of Member States 15 to 19 year olds are still in education or training and few are seeking employment (even part-time). Therefore, the lower age limit of the Europe 2020 strategy’s employment target has been set at 20 years. The upper age limit for the employment rate is usually set to 64 years, taking into account statutory retirement ages across Europe.
- European Commission (2016), Employment and Social Developments in Europe 2015, p. 13.