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Unemployment situation should have featured in SONA – ISSER

Professor Peter Quartey, Director at the Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), University of Ghana, says it would have been ideal if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo had spoken to the country’s unemployment situation during his State of the Nation (SONA) address.

In a zoom interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) Prof. Quartey said though the unemployment situation was dire, the country recorded some positive data, especially in the first and third quarters of 2023, which must be communicated to the citizenry.

‘From the Statistical Service report, some 440,000 persons joined the labour force between the first and third quarters of 2023 …so at least there is a positive signal that must be told…. There is a lot of room for improvement. Afterall, we are not alone in this, there are many African countries struggling with unemployment problems,’ he said.

The most important thing, he said, was measures that must be taken by the leadership to mitigate the problem.

‘You will find s
imilar worrying statistics in other countries…What matters is what we are doing to resolve them. For me that is why the President should have taken the advantage.’

He said the private sector should be included in government’s job-creation initiatives to create sustainable environments for their expansion to absorb more youth into the workforce to ease the burden on government.

‘The private sector is the way to go. Government cannot do it alone. You must provide an enabling environment and tax incentives to the private sector to flourish and create the needed jobs otherwise we will choke the public sector and that is not sustainable,’ he said.

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) 2023 report said the average rate of unemployment in the country rose to 14.7 percent in the first three quarters of 2023. The number of unemployed youth aged between 15 and 35 rose from about 1.2 million to over 1.3 million during the same period with the rate among females consistently higher than males.

Source: Ghana News Agenc