The labour market in Ghana

Type Working Paper
Title The labour market in Ghana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
Employment or, more appropriately, lack of employment is the single most important socioeconomic
and political issue facing policymakers in Ghana. While open unemployment is
quite low, according to official sources, a very large proportion of the Ghanaian labour force
is locked up in atypical forms of employment in the so-called informal economy. Currently,
the formal economy employs just about 10 percent of the total labour force. The remaining 90
percent of the workforce is employed in the informal economy.
In the early 1980s when the neo-liberal economic reforms were introduced in Ghana as part
of the structural adjustment programme, the formal sector employed about 20 percent of the
total workforce. The public sector in particular was a major source of employment for the majority
of labour market entrants from the universities, polytechnics and other formal educational

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