The eight Sustainable Development Goal aims to encourage lasting, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.

After the global economic crisis in 2009, the world has witnessed an increase in labor productivity and a reduction in unemployment rates, even despite the large disparities between regions around the world. Ten years later, in 2019, the global economy slowed again, with the lowest growth since 2008/2009. The coronavirus in 2020 caused abrupt and profound changes, further slowing the economy.

This crisis has a negative impact on world labor markets, in particular on the workers in the informal economy, the self-employed, the daily wage earners and workers in sectors with the highest risk of interruptions. Urgent policy measures are needed to support businesses, increase labor demand and preserve existing jobs – especially for the most vulnerable – to achieve full employment and decent work for all women and men.

In Italy, unemployed young people who neither study nor train (Neet) have reached the highest levels in the EU. Very strong territorial differences remain, with the regions of the South very distant from those of the Center and the North in terms of economic output and employment.

In the era of COVID-19, occupational safety and health, which are a fundamental aspect of decent work, has become more important than ever. Workers have the right to feel safe in the workplace, but many are exposed to needless risks. Implementing adequate health and safety measures and promoting favorable work environments are essential in protecting the safety of workers. This is particularly relevant for healthcare professionals and those providing essential services during the pandemic. Furthermore, policies must ensure that all necessary precautions are taken to protect both workers and consumers as workplaces begin to reopen.