More than one million Ghanaians, constituting about 12 per cent of the labour force, are unemployed, a study conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in 2015 has revealed.
Out of the number, more than 700,000, constituting 12.5 per cent, are females, while 500,000, representing 11.5 per cent, are males, indicating that more females are likely to be unemployed than males.
Unemployment, according to the GSS, was a phenomenon where a person had not been engaged for the last seven days at the time the data was collected between November 2015 and December 2015 and was available to work if given the opportunity.
The survey was conducted with support from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
It covered a total of 6,030 households selected from 402 areas between November and December 2015.
It categorised employment into five main groups, namely, self-employment, employment work, where the individual receives salary, unpaid trainee work, volunteer work and work done out of compulsion.
At the launching ceremony, the acting Government Statistician, Mr Baah Wadieh, said the survey analysis was based on international standards.
According to the report, unemployment rates were high in the 10 regions of the country; Upper East (18.4 per cent) recording the highest unemployment rate and the Brong Ahafo (8.4 per cent) recording the lowest. The female unemployment rate was higher than that of males in all the regions.
The Northern Region also had the highest rate of employment, slightly more than three-quarters, constituting about 76.4 per cent.
Mr Wadieh indicated that over 60 per cent of the employed population constituted those who fell within the self employed category, while over 23 per cent constituted the paid employees.
“This shows that roughly 72 per cent of the working population is vulnerable, with females constituting the majority as compared to males,” the report said.
“Those within the ages of 15 and 35 years, who constitute the youthful population of Ghana, representing about 59 per cent, are employed, the report added.
On wages, the report stated that the labour force received amounts which were not commensurate to the kind of work done.
“Currently employed persons in the country earn on average of GH₵898, with males receiving about GH₵1,011, earning higher than females who receive GH₵715.
“Persons working as managers receive the highest average monthly earnings of GH₵1,378 in both cash and in-kind payment. However, managers whose earnings are only by in-kind payment receive on average GH₵180 as monthly earnings,” it said.
In his address, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, expressed the government’s commitment to dealing with the unemployment in the country.
He called on the GSS to carry out annual statistics on the labour force of the country to inform decision making.
“I expect that the statistics on Ghana’s labour force will be released by the end the year or by January 2018 to help in policy formulation and decision making.