Conditions in the Ghanaian Labor market have deteriorated over the past year due to the difficulties faced by businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recent data from the Bank of Ghana shows that the number of jobs advertised in selected print and online media, which gauges labor demand in the economy, declined in the third quarter of 2020 relative to what was observed in the third quarter of 2019.
In total, 6,880 job adverts were recorded in the third quarter of 2020 as compared with 9,485 for the third quarter of 2019, indicating a year-on-year decline of 27.5 percent. Similarly, the number of job vacancies advertised in the review period dipped by 28.2 percent from 9,582 recorded for the second quarter of 2020.
Analyses of the Sector Distribution showed that the Services Sector maintained its dominance as the leading job-providing sector in the economy, accounting for 80.2 percent of total job adverts recorded during the third quarter of 2020. However, there was a decline in total adverts year-on-year when compared with a share of 82.2 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2019.
Industry followed with a share of 16.1 percent, up from 15.2 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2019, while the Agriculture Sector accounted for 3.7 percent of the job adverts during the period, compared with 2.7 percent of total job adverts recorded for the corresponding quarter of 2019.
Further analyses on Skill Set Job Adverts revealed that the main requirements for skilled employees were tertiary education qualification(s) and a minimum of three years’ working experience. This category, classified as Professionals and Technicians, collectively accounted for 52.3 percent of total jobs advertised during the third quarter of 2020, relative to 41.5 percent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019. Pointing to the fact that education and experience are key factors considered by most employers in the country when seeking to hire people for their companies.
This was followed by the categories classified as Sales & Other Service Workers which went down to 29.5 percent in the third quarter of 2020 as against 38.0 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. Employers seeking the services of Artisans & Machine Operators also went up marginally to 11.0 percent in the third quarter of 2020 as compared to 10.6 percent recorded a year ago.
Also, job adverts requiring the services of Secretarial & Clerical Staff reduced to 5.0 percent between July and September last year as against 6.6 percent recorded in the corresponding period of 2019. Job adverts classified as ‘Others’ also went down by 1.2 percent in the review period from 2.2 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2020 as compared to 3.4 percent in the corresponding period of 2019.
Surveys conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service to track the impact of COVID-19 on Ghanaian businesses showed that some 770,000 workers had their wages reduced, 42,000 workers laid-off, and about 85,000 businesses shut down during the partial lockdown.
All points to the fact that the Ghanaian labor market is still very fragile to shocks and uncertainties, exposing the country to a further rise in the rates of unemployment and underemployment in the Ghanaian economy. Despite the stimulus packages rolled out for businesses by the government last year, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases still poses a serious threat to the survival of businesses which further exposes the labor market to high uncertainties.
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