Government has revealed that more than 208,000 private sector jobs have been added in 2018.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said he culled the data from the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), which collects pension contributions for employees within the formal sectors of the economy.
The data collected for the first 10 months shows an increase in formal jobs added in 2017 which is 197,000, the Minister said during his third major budget presentation in Parliament Thursday.
Reliable figures for jobs and joblessness in Ghana is difficult even though there is an entire bureaucracy for labour, according to the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
Experts on the economy have observed, a lack of reliable data on unemployment in Ghana hampers development planning.
Admitting this challenge, the former investment banker and Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said it is being resolved by resourcing the Ghana Statistical Service as well as the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
For example, the jobs registered at SSNIT could be new jobs or existing jobs that have been formalised in a country where the informal sector continues to hold significant and unharvested data.
The Ghana Statistical Service has put the country’s informal sector at about 62%.
Ofori-Atta did not offer any data on job losses in a year that has seen five more banks collapse in 2018. The bank failures has had an impact on several complimentary jobs in private security, media, advertising and catering, among others.
It was Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who has referred to data at the Bank of Ghana, which shows there were 4,516 jobs at the five banks before they collapsed and were put together to form the Ghana Consolidated Bank.
Out of this figure, about 2,818 still have jobs, he said in an interview on Joy News’ PM Express in October 2018.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah revealed that the job losses are less than 2,000 and not 3,000 as claimed by Minority spokesperson on Finance Cassiel Ato Forson.
Job creation remains an important measure of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government. In 2017, he asked for more time after journalists asked for his job record six months into his tenure.
The President said he will need at least 18 months to provide better answers. With his government marking 22 months in power, Ofori Atta was proud to mention the provision of 100,000 public sector jobs as a “monumental” achievement.
He called the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) where these numbers were recruited as “the largest single jobs and skills development programme in the last 50 years.”
NABCO recruitment of 100,000 young graduates adds to the 987,461 jobs government said it has created in the public sector when it hired nurses, doctors, security officers and staff within the various ministries.
But adding more recruits on the public sector payroll has been criticised as bloating public expenditure, which eventually creates a deficit.
Anaylsts say job creation must be focussed on private sector jobs than public jobs such as the ¢700 allowance to be paid to the NABCO employees.
It is a view which the president also shared prior to the creation of NABCO in May 2018.
“We all have to be very frank. I am thinking more about private sector jobs, not the public employer,” he said in August 2017 during a media encounter.