The Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises Committee, Richard Quashigah has described as “dubious” figures the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry has put out as being the number of jobs the Akufo-Addo government has created so far.At a press conference in Accra last week, sector minister, Ignatius Baffuor Awuah said Ghana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.7 percent.
“People who are actually not working and made efforts to look for work and did not obtain work summed up to 422,000. So strictly speaking these are the unemployed persons that we have on our hand,” he said.
While indicating that government had been able to create a total of 611,397 new jobs in the formal sector, Mr Baffour Awuah also claimed an additional 417,000 people have given up looking for jobs out of frustration and lack of hope.
“I will also agree that, somebody will decide that I will not go and look for jobs at all because even if I go I will not get. So I will make no effort…Their number is 417,500. So if you add that to those who are looking for work but are not getting it, the percentage then moves [from 3.7%] to 7.1%.”
Rebutting the claim at a counter presser, Friday, Mr. Quashigah said government was being untruthful with the figures.
“Ghanaians are already suffering enough to be ridiculed with dubious and fabricated employment figures” he stated.
According to the legislator, there are enough statistics to prove that unemployment figures have actually risen.
“More jobs have been lost than have been created under the Nana Addo administration since they took over,” he argued.
“The upheavals in the banking and financial sector led to thousands of job losses, the textile sector also saw thousands of job losses, the breweries sector about 1,500, food and beverages about 1,200, whiles the media landscape also saw hundreds of job losses.
“It is therefore not surprising that the Centre for Socioeconomic Studies, CSS after its work concluded that over a million jobs have been lost since Nana Addo led NPP government came into force. If that is anything to go by, then the doubtful jobs of 611,397 created in the MDAs and the private formal sector as posited by the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations in his meet the press encounter is still in arrears of well over 400,000 job losses.
Mr Quashigah has cautioned the government to “desist from churning out dubious and fabricated employment figures and rather seek the right figures from the GSS they previously rubbished and holistically tackle the worsening unemployment situation in this country.”