About 1.74 million (13.4 per cent) of the total working population of 13 million in the age bracket of 15 years and above, in the first quarter of the year were unemployed, a study conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed.
The Annual Household and Expenditure Survey (AHIES), under the Harmonising and Improving Statistics in West Africa Project, funded by the World Bank, revealed that unemployment rate rose from 13.4 per centto 13.9 per cent (1.8 million people) in the second quarter of the year.
AHIES is being conducted by the GSS to obtain quarterly and annual data on household final consumption expenditure and a wide scope of demographic, economic and welfare variable.
Covering food security, multidimensional poverty and unemployment, the AHIES aims to provide nationally and regionally representative disaggregated data on expenditure, income and living conditions of households in Ghana to support decision-making for development.
Speaking at the launch of the AHIES in Accra yesterday, the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel K. Annim, said 11,259,000 representing 86.6 per cent of the working population in the first quarter of the year were employed.
He said the employment rate decreased to 86.1 per cent constituting 11,193,000 of the working population in the second quarter of the year, indicating that unemployment increased by 0.5 percentage points between quarter one (13.4 per cent) and 13.9 per cent in quarter two of 2022.
Prof. Annim said the survey indicated that about 390,000 people 15 years and older unemployed in the first quarter remained unemployed in the second quarter, while between the second and first quarter of the year, about 445,000 people outside the labour force joined the number of unemployed persons.
“About two thirds of the employed population are engaged in vulnerable employment with significant variation across urban areas (about 56.4 per cent) and rural (80 per cent),” Prof. Annim, said.
Prof. Annim said about 380,000 out of the 13 million working population were triple burdened.
Triple burdened, the Government Statistician said meant that the affected persons were food insecure, multi-dimensional poor and unemployed, Government Statistician explained.
He said Savannah Region had the highest per cent of people who are triple burdened persons (8.2 per cent), which is more than twice the national average of 3.2 per cent.
“The statistics revealed that between the first and second quarters of 2022, food insecurity dropped by 7.0 percentage points while multi-dimensionalpoverty dropped by 2.6 per cent. Unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points,” Prof. Annim said.
The Government Statistician indicated that about 1.8 million of the youth aged 14 and 24 years were not in education, employment or training and about 14.5 million people did not have active health insurance coverage, stressing that health insurance was the leading contributor to multidimensional poverty.
Prof. Kwaku Appiah-Adu, Senior Advisor to the Vice President, who launched the report, said it would support government in evidence-based decision-making and policy planning.
He said the comprehensive labour force, food insecurity and multidimensional poverty would help government in the areas it should focus on.
Prof. Appiah-Adu commended GSS for the report and said government would use the report to improve the socio-economic development of the country.
Senior Economist at the World Bank, Paul Andres Corral Rodas in his remarks, said the survey would provide information necessary to understand and monitor living conditions in Ghana would present unique picture of the labour force, food security and poverty situation in the country.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE