About 422,000 Ghanaians are currently hunting for jobs, this is according to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations.
According to the Employment Minister, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah, an additional 417,000 people have given up looking for jobs out of frustration and lack of hope.
Taking his turn at the Meet the Press series in Accra on Thursday, he said Ghana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.7 per cent.
“People who are actually not working and made efforts to look for work and did not obtain work summed up to 422,000. So strictly speaking these are the unemployed persons that we have on our hand.”
“I will also agree that, somebody will decide that I will not go and look for jobs at all because even if I go I will not get. So I will make no effort…Their number is 417,500. So if you add that to those who are looking for work but are not getting it, the percentage then moves [from 3.7%] to 7.1%,” he said.
“So strictly speaking, we have two definitions of unemployment. We have the strict definition and we have the relaxed definition. If we apply the strict definition, the figure now then is 3.7 but then if we use the relax method which includes all other persons that have given up and are actually though not working but are not looking for work, the figure then comes up to 7.1 per cent,” he added.
“As far as the workforce is concerned, 11,058,357 people are noted as being employed currently and 1,143,275 persons are noted as “working for all use” or being volunteers and were therefore not considered to be in employment as per ILO definitions of employment,” he said.
Mr Awuah cited government’s social intervention programmes such as the Planting for Food and Jobs policy, Rearing for Food and Jobs, Modules under the Youth Employment Agencies, National Builders Corps among others as contributing factors to the declining unemployment figures.
“It may interest you, when we studied the data and analysed it, we realised that one of the major contributors to the decline in unemployment has been the introduction of the free senior high school (SHS) policy,” he said.
According to him, a total of 611,397 new jobs have been created in the formal sector.
Out of the number, he said 343,458 were employed by the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).