Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has said the rate of unemployment in the country has reduced from 11.9 per cent in 2015 to 7.1 per cent in 2019.
The decline, he said, was partly as a result of government’s flagship programmes and policies interventions conceptualised in the Coordinated Programme for Economic and Social Development Policies and the National Medium-Term Development Frame.
Mr Baffour-Awuah, who was speaking at the meet-the-press series, said the interventions include: ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, ‘Rearing for Food and Jobs’, ‘One-District-One-Factory’, Revamping Vocational Skills Training and Modules under Youth Employment Agency and the Nations Buildings Corps.
He said during the period under review, a total of 611, 397 new jobs were created in the formal sector.
Out of this figure, Mr Baffour-Awuah noted, that the Ministries, Departments and Agencies accounted for 343, 458 new jobs while the formal private sector created an estimated 267,939 new jobs.
He said there has been a relatively stable and peaceful industrial atmosphere since January 2017 and applauded employers and the leadership of respective labour unions for their support, patience and tolerance in the handling all labour disputes.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said the informal economy continues to dominate the labour market with 85 per cent of employment with the formal sector accounting for the remaining 15 per cent.
He said the public sector formed seven per cent while the private formal sector commands eight per cent.
On pensions, he said, out of the 16.9 per cent contributing family workers, 13.1 per cent were in agriculture while the remaining 3.8 per cent were in non-agricultural activities.
As at December 2018, he said, the Active Worker Population recorded on Tier 1 was more than 1.53 million.
He said, “new members enrolled onto the SSNlT Scheme increased from 281,303 in 201 7 to 611,397 as at May 2019, at an average growth rate 46.8 per cent.”
As part of efforts to sanitize the operations of SSNlIT, Mr Baffour-Awuah said, the government embarked on an exercise in February to identify and eliminate “ghost” pensioners from the SSNlT payroll.
The move, he said, has led to the deletion of 6,311 “ghost” pensioners from the SSNlT payroll, saving the Trust over GH¢43.8 million as at the end of May 2019.