It has now been officially confirmed that the 1.6 million jobs supposedly created by the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) is nothing but a hoax, as the man in charge of employment has dismissed the claim.
E.T. Mensah, Minister for Employment and Social Welfare yesterday reiterated an earlier comment he made in Parliament that he did not know where the figure of 1.6 million jobs came from.
“Some figures have been running around that 1.2 million, 1.6 million jobs have been created; I don’t want to go there, I don’t want to run into a minefield,” Mr. Mensah stressed, adding, “The 1.6 million jobs is history”.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a Deputy Minister for Information, had told Ghanaians in March last year that the Mills administration had succeeded in creating 1.6 million jobs in less than a year, a claim which was said to be mind-boggling as hundreds of NDC foot-soldiers were struggling for any available job in town, culminating in a jostle for public toilets.
His boss Minister of Information, John Akologo Tia further muddied the waters when he told a panel of television interviewers this year that it was not 1.6million but over 2 million jobs had been created since the Mills administration took over.
Following the claim, Beatrice Bernice Boateng, MP for New Juaben South in the Eastern Region, asked the Employment Minister about the 2,000 unemployed youth in her constituency who had not benefitted from the jobs created.
But E. T. Mensah laughed off the matter and indicated he had no immediate answer to it.
Also answering a question from Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, MP for Takoradi, on the rate of unemployment in the country yesterday, since 2004 to date and by age groups, Mr Mensah said he needed notice to give the number of jobs created by the Mills administration.
President Atta Mills had told journalists at a press conference at the Castle early this year that the series of agitations by NDC foot-soldiers were because they didn’t have jobs, raising more questions about Okudzeto’s 1.6 million phantom jobs.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) described the phantom jobs as laughable.
Party General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly called Sir John said, “What the Mills Administration has been doing in the last 15 months is only sacking innocent Ghanaians from jobs created by the previous NPP administration, filling the resulting vacancies with its party activists, their family members, their girlfriends and boyfriends, and then counting these as creating jobs. Is that job creation?”
The Employment and Social Welfare Minister, also the MP for Ningo/Prampram, further indicated that there were no statistics on unemployment situation in the country.
Questions were however asked as to how the Ministry was dealing with the unemployment problem if there was no data on it.
Mr. Mensah said the country’s inability to produce labour market data and statistics on a regular basis on employment was a challenge to the monitoring of the impact of government policy on employment, incomes and poverty.
“The time has come for us to re-consider stepping up investment in the collection and analysis of labour market statistics on a timely and regular basis to enable us evaluate the impact of national economic policies and programmes on job creation, income inequality and poverty reduction,” the Minister suggested.
According to him, in the past two decades, the labour market data and statistics had generally been sourced from the population census and other household surveys such as the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS).
Unfortunately, these surveys were not regularly conducted, making it difficult to carry out any meaningful labour market analysis on regular basis.
Mr. Mensah, who could not provide the latest figures, said with the final results of the 2010 population census yet to be released, the only recent available data source for unemployment rates in the country can be obtained from the fifth round of the GLSS.
The Minister gave the broad unemployment rates covering the period 2005 to 2006 for young people aged 15-19 as 12.7 percent, against 14.2 percent for 20-24 years, 4.9 percent for 30-39 years, 2.9 percent for 40-49 years, 3.0 percent for 50-59 years and 4.3 percent for 60 years and above.
Source Daily Guide