For Immediate Release
GSS Quarterly Employment Report, BudgIT Ghana calls on the government to respond to the alarming youth unemployment rate and the gender employment gap.
The Ghana Statistical Service [GSS] published its quarterly report on the AHIES labour category on May 5, 2023. The Third Quarter Labour Force Report presents data from the first three quarters of 2022 on labour force participation, employment status, vulnerable employment, the unemployment rate, labour market inequalities (participation and earnings), and youth not in education, employment, or training. The report also includes data on labour force mobility across quarters, including movements in and out of jobs, transitions between economic sectors (agriculture, industry, and services), and movement between the informal and formal sectors.
BudgIT Ghana identified critical findings from the GSS’s Q3 labour report concerning employment transitions, gender disparities in vulnerable employment, education, employment, or training [NEET], and rising youth unemployment in the country. The report revealed that the industry and service sectors lost approximately 54,000 people to agriculture and over 38,000 to services. At the same time, the agriculture sector gained over 25,000 people from the services sector, implying that more people are migrating from the secure formal sector (public and private) to the informal, insecure industry, and a majority of them are women. In the third quarter of 2022, nearly 580,000 people transitioned from the informal sector to unemployment, compared to 133,000 people who transitioned from the formal sector.
According to the report, nearly 1.8 million people were unemployed, with women accounting for more than 66% (1.17 million). This gender employment disparity significantly hurts the economy as it excludes a significant population of women who could earn and contribute to the economy. Excluding women from the labour force also increases poverty; with women making up 50.1% of the population and limited access to work opportunities, they are likely to live in poverty without income to support themselves and their families.
As of the third quarter of 2022, approximately 2.4 million youth were not in employment, education, or training (NEET), with the Savannah (27.8%), North East (24.3%), and Upper East (24.2%) regions having the largest youthful populations. This trend is worrisome as it drastically hurts the Ghanaian economy, limits the pool of talent available for businesses, and ultimately hurts the economy.
BudgIT Ghana urges the government to invest in training and education for young people and women to develop their skills to gain employment or become business owners. Without significant investment in infrastructure, education, and the people of Ghana, the country loses its chance to build a sustainable and equitable economy.
Jennifer A. Moffatt