Ghana Statistical Service: Unemployment in Ghana soars to 14.7%

Stories and facts

Recent data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) paints a worrying picture of rising unemployment in the country. According to the GSS, the average unemployment rate surged to 14.7% in the first three quarters of 2023. This increase is particularly alarming among youth aged 15 to 35, where the number of unemployed individuals grew from around 1.2 million to over 1.3 million. Notably, females continue to face a higher unemployment rate compared to males.

The analysis of the Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey Quarter Three Labour Bulletin reveals a troubling trend. While there was a slight decrease in youth unemployment in the second quarter of 2022, subsequent quarters witnessed a rise, especially among females. Furthermore, the gender gap in unemployment has widened in 2023 compared to the previous year.

Despite approximately 440,000 people entering the labor force between the first and third quarters of 2023, with more than 60% finding employment, the gap between employed females and males has widened. Urban areas have seen little change in employment numbers, while rural areas experienced consistent growth until the third quarter of 2023, after five consecutive quarters of expansion.

Moreover, the disparity in unemployment rates between urban and rural regions has widened progressively throughout the first three quarters of 2023, with urban areas facing nearly double the unemployment rate of rural regions in the second and third quarters.

Overall, the average unemployment rate of 14.7% highlights the urgent need for targeted interventions to address job market challenges. Efforts should focus on narrowing the gender gap and supporting employment growth in both urban and rural areas.

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