A report launched here on Monday said at least 42,000 workers had lost their jobs as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ghana since March.
About 770,000 workers, representing 25.7 percent of the total workforce in the country, had their wages reduced since the country embarked on a partial lockdown in April to combat COVID-19, leading to a reduction in working hours, the report said.
“The shock from COVID-19 has had a considerable impact on Ghanaian businesses. It forced many firms to cut costs by reducing staff hours, cutting wages, and in some cases laying off workers,” the Business Tracker Survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) discovered.
The survey carried out between May 26 and June 17, assessed 4,311 firms across the country for the impact of the novel coronavirus private businesses. It said even though the government has relaxed the lockdown measures, a high degree of uncertainty in the expectations of firms regarding sales and employment would linger over the next six months.
Specifically, the data showed that during the lockdown, about 244,000 firms started adjusting their business models by relying more on digital solutions, such as mobile money and the internet for sales.
The results indicate that during the COVID-19 partial lockdown, businesses received shocks in supply and demand for goods and services, as 131,000 businesses had challenges accessing finance, heightening the uncertainty in the business environment.
It said more than half of these firms had difficulties in sourcing inputs due to non-availability or an increase in costs, leading to challenges in covering revenue shortfalls.
“To lessen the impacts of COVID-19, there is a need for policies to support firms in the short and medium term. The most desired policies cited by the private sector include measures to improve liquidity such as subsidized interest rates, cash transfers, and deferral of tax payments,” the report urged. Enditem