Ghana’s inability to produce labour market data seen as challenge to government policy

Mr E.T. Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, has said the country’s inability to produce labour market data and statistics on a regular basis on employment is a challenge to the monitoring of the impact of government policy on employment, incomes and poverty.

“The time has come for us to re-consider stepping up investment in the collection and analysis of labour market statistics on a timely and regular basis to enable us evaluate the impact of national economic policies and programmes on job creation, income inequality and poverty reduction,” he said in response to a question in Parliament.

The Minister was in Parliament to respond to a question on the rate of unemployment in the country since 2004 to date and by age groups. The question stood in the name of Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP for Takoradi.

He said for the past two decades, the labour market data and statistics have generally been sourced from the population census and other household surveys such as the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLISS) but these surveys are not regularly conducted making it difficult to carry out “any meaningful labour market analysis on regular basis.”

Mr Mensah, who could not provide latest figures, said with the final results of the 2010 population census yet to be released, the only recent available data source for unemployment rates in the country can be obtained from the fifth round of the GLSS.

He told parliament that figures from the fifth round of GLSS, which covers the period 2005 to 2006, indicates that the unemployment rates for the young people aged 15-19, was estimated at 5.0 per cent as against 7.6 per cent for age 20-24 years, 5.1 for 25-29 years and  2.3 per cent for 30-39 years.

According to the Minister, unemployment rates for age 40-49 years, was estimated at 1.1, 1.3 for 50-59 years and 1.1 per cent for 60 years and above.

By Eunice Menka

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