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Deal with joblessness – TUC tells government ahead of May Day

The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) is mounting pressure on the government to deal with the teeming unemployment in the country as it prepares for Workers’ Day on May 1.

As the nation inches closer to May Day, the mother workers’ union is concerned about the seemingly high unemployment and under-employment rates in Ghana.

Speaking on 3FM’s Sunrise morning show, Director of Research at the TUC Dr. Kwabena Otoo was concerned the labour force does not match the needs of Ghanaians.

“We are calling for the expansion of the public sector workforce…there are many villages, there are many towns in Ghana where you don’t even have the presence of government. And government presence is created through jobs…to create government presence means to create jobs,” he insisted.

Dr. Otoo applauded the government for its employment intervention like the Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCo) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).

It had emerged that there were varying statistics on unemployment in the country.

While the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his 2018 State of the Nation Address pegged the unemployment rate at 5.77 per cent, the Director of Research at the TUC put the figure at 12 per cent.

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) of the University of Ghana research also shows that out of the 100,000 graduates from tertiary education, less than 10 per cent are employed in the job market.

The World Bank also revealed that the youth unemployment rate stood at 48 per cent. The question has always arisen as to what the true figures are on unemployment.

Dr. Otoo noted that in places where the unemployment figures are real, like in London, they are usually unemployment insurances and other social support systems for the unemployed.

He expressed worry that several workers in Ghana are actually under-employed – meaning they are working long hours and under strenuous environments – yet are being paid unsustainable wages.

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