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ISSER questions unemployment data

BY: Musah Yahaya Jafaru
• Rev Dr Adobea Yaa Owusu, Coordinator, presenting the Ghana Social Development Outlook 2014 report. Picture: MAXWELL OCLOO

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana has questioned the method used by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in capturing unemployment figures.

It said the country’s unemployment figures were higher than the 1.8 per cent nationally and 3.2 per cent for persons aged between 15 and 24 captured in the GSS’s 2013 report.

In its 2014 Ghana Outlook Social Report, ISSER, therefore, asked the GSS to do a better measurement of the figures by increasing its window period for tracking unemployment from the current one week.

“We strongly believe that unemployment and underemployment figures are higher than is reported. A better measurement of the problem will attract more policy,” it said.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, launched the report in Accra last Friday and also launched three books on oil management, domestic resource mobilisation and health care.

The ISSER research focused on energy, education, health, population, water and sanitation, housing and employment.

Presenting an overview of the report, the Head of the Social Division of ISSER, Rev Dr Adobea Yaa Owusu, said globally unemployment had been a growing concern.

“In Ghana, as internationally, there has been higher youth unemployment since the 1960s,” she said.

Supply-side factors

The report said the size of the youth population, training inadequacies and low investment rates were the main causes of unemployment in the country.

It said the National Service Scheme (NSS) and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) had no long-term benefits to participants.

The report called for the creation of decent jobs annually to cater for graduates from different levels of education.

“The recommendation is to produce enough decent jobs on an annual basis to accommodate the large number of youth who graduate from different levels of education each year,” it said.

Education 

The report observed that there was increasing privatisation of tertiary education, with one private university in each of the 10 regions.

It said out of the 55 listed degree-granting private universities and colleges, 36 were located in Accra and Tema.

It found out that tertiary level education received less policy and research attention than basic and secondary levels.

Human security

The report said fire outbreaks, particularly market fires, were another source of human insecurity in the country.

“Many lives and properties running into millions of Ghana cedis were also lost to fire outbreaks from 2011 to 2013,” it said.

It mentioned unreliable electricity supply, the free fall of the cedi and illegal commercial motorbike transport services,  known as ‘Okada’, as some of the human security issues.