The Deputy Ranking Member on Parliament’s Employment, Social Welfare and State Enterprises Committee, Mr Richard Quashigah, has challenged figures put out by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations as jobs that have been created by the government.
Mr Quashigah contended that while President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his 2019 May Day address put the total labour force at 13 million, the Employment Minister just after three months puts the active workforce population at 17.56 million.
He said in the estimation of the Employment Minister, the government had created a total of 611,397 formal sector jobs of which 343,458 fall under the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs.)
The minister, Mr Quashigah continued, further stated that of the 17.56 million active labour force, 839,500 remained unemployed.
Addressing a press conference in Accra in response to the figures stated by the Employment Minister, Mr Quashigah, who is also the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for Keta, said the facts as contained in the quarterly report of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department( CAGD) puts the total active staff strength of the MDAs as of December 2016 at 507,343 and the staff strength as of December 2018 at 542,803, making a difference of 35,460 additional employment created.
The difference, he said, was simply a case of replacement of retirees and other labour movement within the MDAs and not a complete and newly created jobs.
He said the availability of accurate and credible employment data to any country formed the basis of how serious and sincere a government was about tackling the unemployment problems facing the country.
Unfortunately, he said, the government had not been entirely truthful to Ghanaians in the provision of real data but would have Ghanaians believe that the government had not only created new jobs but had reduced unemployment in the country to 7.1 per cent.
He posited that the continuous putting out of conflicting employment and labour force figures was not the best in the attempt to deal with unemployment in the country.
Again, he said, the data on job creation on Planting for Food and Jobs as announced by the Agriculture Minister to be 745,000 as of 2018 was inaccurate and was heavily disputed by experts within the agriculture sector.
“It is therefore interesting for the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations to continue to hold unto data from same the source which now puts this year’s figure for planting for food and jobs at more than twice that of last year’s (1.5 million),” he said.
Mr Quashigah, therefore, called on the government to seek the right figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in making public pronouncements on the employment situation in order to tackle the worsening unemployment situation in the country.