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10.01.2006 General News

Youth Unemployment is 25.6% - Statistical Service

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Available unemployment data indicates that the younger age group of between 15 and 24 has an unemployment rate of 25.6%, which is twice as much as the 12.9% unemployment rate for the 25- 44 - age group.

It is also more than three times that of the older age group of 45-64 years.

Between the sexes, data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) available further indicates that unemployment is only slightly higher among women, 10.7%, than men, 10.1%. In terms of locality, unemployment rates are higher in urban areas 13.45 than in rural areas 5.5%.

The Business Chronicle gathered that in the past years the unemployment registration exercise had revealed that majority of the unemployed are within the ages of 15 and 24 falling under those who are literate. This may be due to early drop-out rate of the youth in schools and the inability to attend school.

According to the statistics, the street youth, the disabled and the vulnerable are all not excluded, with those who also have completed various stages of formal education, with about 77% of them being Junior Secondary products.

'Those who have completed Senior Secondary Schools but are unable to continue their education or get employed because they are deficient in three critical subjects such as English, Maths and Science.'

Documents available to the paper indicate that graduates from the universities and other tertiary institutions are the largest number of unemployed graduates in the country.

The paper gathered also that students of social science and liberal arts on the average take more than 10 months to obtain their first jobs, after national service, compared to biological science, engineering and ICT graduates who take less than 3 months to get their first jobs after their national service.

A research conducted by GSS showed that among the several factors that account for the present unemployment situation in Ghana and continue to influence employment issues include the high rate of population growth of about of 2.6% per annum, leading to an increase of the labour force from 5.6million in 1984 to 7.4 million in 1994 and then to about 9million in 2000.

The rapid expansion of the educational system, which is flooding the Ghanaian labour market with school leavers without employable skills from all levels of the educational system, is one of the reasons for the increase in the unemployment levels.

Also, the mismatch between supply of and the demand for skills on the labour market and divesture of state enterprises, downsizing, divestiture, partial ban on recruitment into public or civil service have contrubuted to the phenemenon.

The statistics were based on the 2000 population census. The country does not have current figures on the unemployment rate.

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