Unemployment rate in Ghana drops by 3.5% - Labour Minister

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

The total unemployment rate in Ghana has reduced by some 3.5 percentage points despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the job sector and the economy at large.

This came to the fore when the sector minister, Mr Ignatius Baffuor Awuah took his turn at the periodic “Meet the Press” series organised by the Ministry of Information on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

According to the report of the 7th Round of the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS7, 2019), the total unemployment rate for Ghana is 8.4% as compared to the unemployment rate of 11.9% reported in the GLSS6, 2015-a reduction of 3.5% points. This rate is higher among females (9.2%) than males (7.5%). In terms of regions, Greater Accra recorded the highest unemployment rate of 11.8% followed by Ashanti (10.3%).

The Volta Region recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 5.8 percent followed by the then Brong-Ahafo (6.0%).

The youth unemployment rate has also declined from 16.9 percent as reported in the GLSS6, 2015 to 12.6 percent as reported in the GLSS7, 2019.

According to the minister, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, his outfit observed that low wage and unskilled workers were the most vulnerable.

Further analysis also showed that workplace transmissions were becoming rampant, therefore in order to curtail the spread of the virus at workplaces, the Ministry in collaboration with the National Tripartite Committee issued a 10-Point Communique on Workplace Safety.

The purpose was to consolidate World Health Organization (WHO) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) Preventive Protocols as well as enhance routine inspections by the Labour Department and the Department of Factories Inspectorate which has largely been successful.

The Ministry embarked on a nationwide random inspection of offices, shops and factories.

I personally led a team to inspect randomly selected workplaces to ascertain for myself the level of compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Some of the institutions visited within the Greater Accra, Tema, Nsawam and its environs were in the manufacturing, service, retail and recycling sub-sectors. This was to ensure strict compliance with and enforcement of the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines outlined by government.“

"I am happy to report that 80% of the establishments inspected were complying with the guidelines prescribed by government and the World Health Organization. I wish to entreat all employers and workers to continue to adhere to the prescribed protocols to ensure safety at the workplace," the minister said