Economic and social development

Roughly half the world's population still lives on the equivalent of about US$2 a day. And in too many places, having a job doesn't guarantee the ability to escape from poverty. This slow and uneven progress mandates us to rethink and retool our economic and social policies aimed at halving world poverty by 2015 (the Millennium Development Goals).
The global jobs crisis is one of the biggest security risks of our time. Continuing along the present path, is taking the risk of a world more fragmented, protectionist and confrontational. A continued lack of decent work opportunities, insufficient investments and under-consumption lead to an erosion of the basic social contract underlying democratic societies: that all must share in progress.

The commitments made by the global community to promote social inclusion and jobs as the basis of poverty reduction, and respect for fundamental principles and rights at work is to be revisited.

The ILO approach emphasises that economic growth is an essential but not sufficient condition for poverty reduction. Poverty reduction involves growth with a substantial reorientation in favour of the poor (so called "pro-poor growth"). It includes changes in institutions, laws, regulations and practices that are part of the process that creates and perpetuates poverty.


  1. Making recovery sustainable: Lessons from country innovations

    March 2011

    Synthesis of a new series of “Studies on Growth with Equity”, this paper by the International Institute for Labour Studies of the ILO shows that growth and equity can be achieved in parallel if the right mix of policies is put in place. It is based on findings from reviews for three countries (Brazil, Germany, Indonesia and Spain).