About 2.5 million persons, constituting one out of every four Ghanaian youth between the ages of 15 to 35 years are neither engaged in schooling, learning a vocational skill, nor employment.
The Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) phenomenon which is said to decline as age increases is very prevalent among the age of 21 years.
Regions with the highest NEET rates in the third quarter of last year were Savannah with 27.8 per cent, North East with 24.3 per cent and 24.2 per cent for Upper East, according to the third quarter labour statistics report of the Ghana 2022 Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) released by the Ghana Statistical Service.
The report which was launched on Wednesday indicated that on the average there were close to 11 million persons who were employed across the three quarters of 2022 while some 7.5 million persons remained employed throughout the three quarters.
It further noted that for the 8.6 million persons who were employed in both first quarter and second quarter, about 320,000 persons became unemployed in the third quarter.
“Out of about 810,000 persons employed in the first quarter who became unemployed in second quarter, close to 510,000 persons regained employment in third quarter while more than 110,000 remained unemployed” the report stated.
The AHIES has a primary objective of establishing a system for the collection of economic, demographic, and social data to improve the measurement of Gross Domestic Product.
It also has secondary objective of providing baseline data for the estimation of household consumption expenditure on a regular basis; information for updating National Accounts and data to update the basket of consumer goods and services for rebasing Consumer Price Index.
It also has an objective of providing quarterly and annual data on a wide range of socio-economic and demographic variables such as labour force, food insecurity, employment, and income.
Sharing highlights of the report, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, disclosed that about 1.76 million persons were unemployed in the third quarter, with the number of females as twice high as that of males.
He revealed that, out of about 810,000 persons employed in the first quarter and became unemployed in the second quarter, close to 510,000 persons regained employment in the third quarter while more than 110,000 remained unemployed.
The government statistician explained that about 217000 more persons employed in the Industrial sector in first quarter had transitioned to other sectors relative to the 117000 and 182000 persons respectively for Agriculture and Services sectors.
He noted that between the first and second quarters, about 155,000 persons transitioned out of the formal to the informal employment sector in both second and third quarters.
Meanwhile, he noted, more than 89,000 employed persons in the informal sector in the first quarter, transitioned to and remained in the formal sector in the second and third quarters.
He indicated that the services sector with a rate of 57.7 per cent recorded the highest share of employed persons in first quarter who became unemployed in the second and third quarter as against agriculture’s 21.4 per cent and Industry’s 20.9 per cent.
“The agriculture sector absorbed a net of about 54,000 persons and Services more than 38,000 persons from the industry sector across the three quarters.
“In the third of quarter, the agriculture sector maintained a net gain of more than 25,000 persons from the Services sector” he said.
Mr Bright Wireko-Brobby, the Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, who chaired the launch said timely data to inform public and private decision making and research.
He said the Government in the regard was reliant on employment and labour statistics such as the AHIES to pursue its decent work agenda which is in line with the Ministry’s mandate of ensure decent work for all citizens through job creation, social protection and work rights.
He said it was time for Ghanaians to review what they classified as jobs and employment.
“Many times, if people are in certain jobs, they do not see them as jobs. So, if they are not in tie and coat, they always think they are unemployed,” he said.