Unemployment rate reduces by 3.5% despite COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana—Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah
The total unemployment rate in Ghana has reduced by 3.5 per cent despite the devastating effects of COVID-19 on the job sector and the economy at large.
This came to the fore when the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffuor-Awuah took his turn at the periodic “Meet The Press” series organised by the Ministry of Information on Thursday.
According to the report of the 7th Round of the Ghana Living Standard Survey (GLSS7, 2019), the total unemployment rate for Ghana is 8.4per cent as compared to the unemployment rate of 11.9per cent reported in the GLSS6, 2015-a reduction of 3.5per cent.
“This rate is higher among females (9.2%) than males (7.5%),” the report said.
In terms of regions, Greater Accra recorded the highest unemployment rate of 11.8per cent followed by Ashanti 10.3per cent.
The Volta Region recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent followed by the then Brong-Ahafo 6.0per cent.
The report indicated that youth unemployment rate has also declined from 16.9 per cent as reported in the GLSS6, 2015 to 12.6 per cent as reported in the GLSS7, 2019.
According to the Minister, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was 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,” he added.
The purpose, Baffuor-Awuah said was to consolidate World Health Organisation (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 Nation-wide 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 Recyclying sub-sectors,” he stated.
Mr Baffuor-Awuah stated that the move 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 WHO. I wish to entreat all employers and workers to continue to adhere to the prescribed protocols to ensure safety at the workplace,“ he said mentioned.
On employment promotion, Mr Baffuor-Awuah disclosed that, since January 2017, his Ministry had worked in line with its mandate to improve the capacities at the National and Sub-national levels for the promotion of decent job opportunities in the country.
“The Ministry is also collaborating with the European Union Delegation in Ghana to improve capacity of the Labour Department and its Public Employment Centres (PECs). As a result eight PECs in strategic locations have been renovated and revamped to enable them provide active labour market services, including job matching and career guidance to job seekers,” he added.