Ignatius Baffour Awuah

The Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has asserted that Ghana is among countries with the lowest figures on unemployment in the world.

Ghana’s unemployment rate reportedly hit 13.4 per cent in 2021, up from 6 percent in 2010.

The data revealed that the five regions of the north and Volta region were the worst affected.

But the Minister, while contributing to a discussion in Parliament on the alarming challenges of youth unemployment on Thursday, said the country is placed ahead of North Africa and Europe.

“Unemployment rate in sub-Saharan Africa is far better than unemployment rate in North Africa and in Europe. The reason is that in those advanced countries, they have systems of reporting and indeed any person that is not employed can access unemployment benefits but for us in sub-Saharan Africa, such things are not there.

“Even if the person is unemployed, any work he or she lays hands on, he upholds himself for such work. So, you have more people working even though such works are not decent. I will want to put on record that Ghana’s unemployment rate is amongst the least even in the entire international community,” he said.

According to him, the country’s major challenge is the problem of underemployment.

“Somebody may complete university; his role is to work as a public servant in one of the public services but whilst waiting and there is a family business, he avails himself and helps the family without earning anything.

“Such a person if you go and interview him, he’d tell you he’s working but he’s not working to the fullest of his ability. That is where we have the highest challenge and I concede that if we have any intervention, those are the people that we have to be aiming,” he highlighted.

Meanwhile, a Labour Analyst, Austin Gameh, says governments, for the past years, have failed to activate acts in the Labour Law that mandates it to collate unemployment figures as part of measures in addressing the challenge.