The Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) is demanding from the government statistics on the employment and unemployment situation in the country.
“We expect the government to resource the Ghana Statistical Service to provide up-to-date and accurate information on employment. Real time statistics provide a better way to evaluate the impact of government policies and programmes on employment creation,’’ the TUC said in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Dr Yaw Baah.
The statement was in reaction to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered to Parliament last Thursday.
According to the TUC, the President’s failure to give statistics on employment during the address, coupled with his admission, during a recent media encounter, that he did not have data on job creation, showed that the government was not committed to providing such data.
Such failure, it said, pointed to the fact that the government had “relegated employment to the background’’ in its scheme of work.
“The question is: why would the President not have statistics on employment, even though he was elected based, mainly, on his party’s promise to create millions of jobs for Ghanaians? The President has at his disposal the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and other agencies, including the Labour Department whose mandates include collecting and analysing employment statistics. There is also the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS),’’ the statement said.
The TUC also accused successive governments for neglecting the issue of employment after elections.
It further bemoaned the inadequate funding for state institutions responsible for providing statistics.
“The Ghana Statistical Service, for example, stopped publishing employment data in its monthly statistical bulletin as far back as 1991. Meanwhile, the service has the funding to collect and publish inflation data on monthly basis. It cannot provide data on employment even on annual basis because of lack of funding for that purpose,’’ the statement said.
The labour union congratulated the government on making gains on the macroeconomic front, especially the GDP growth from 3.6 per cent in 2016 to 7.9 per cent in 2017.
It, however, said macroeconomic growth, though laudable, was not the only feature that propelled the creation of jobs.
According to the TUC, the most sustainable way to curb unemployment was the provision of incentives to the private sector.
It explained that the private sector was fraught with many challenges which must be addressed by the government to help in the creation of jobs.
Some of the challenges, it said, were the high cost of borrowing as well as the flooding of highly subsidised foreign goods on the Ghanaian market.
The labour union assured the government of its readiness to support its job creation efforts.