Executive summary

World Employment and Social Outlook 2017: Sustainable enterprises and jobs – Formal enterprises and decent work [Summary]

This edition examines the issue of sustainable enterprises through an in-depth analysis of the characteristics of firms, their strategies and how they relate to enterprise performance and labour market outcomes.

The focus of this edition is primarily on formal private sector enterprises and the ways in which they respond to changing global and national contexts. In particular, the report assesses the linkages between various internal strategies to manage and organize human and financial resources – including capital structure, innovation, trade and global supply chains – and competitiveness and labour market outcomes at the enterprise level.

In so doing, the report emphasizes the role of governments and social partners in fostering sustainable enterprises, notably by shaping supporting institutions and policies through effective social dialogue. Yet it highlights that decent and productive employment is fundamentally based on firms fostering equity in employment opportunities, workers’ protection and rights, and investing in workers as well as other important factors of production.

The analysis of the report contributes to the Agenda for Sustainable Development, which places the promotion of job creation, entrepreneurship and the formalization and growth of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises at the heart of achieving the goal of “decent work and economic growth”, and to the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative.