Around 67 percent of the working-age people in Ghana were dependent as of 2020. Although the age dependency ratio has decreased over the last years, it has remained a force to reckon with. The large dependency is particularly due to the high unemployment rate in the country. The number of unemployed people in Ghana reached over 635,000 as of 2022, the majority of which were men. In view of the rising state of joblessness, ruling governments often develop employment alleviation strategies. One of the recent public initiatives in Ghana is the One District One Factory policy, which has boosted industrialization and employment since its introduction.
Slow but promising growth of self-employment
The situation of unemployment in Ghana has generally encouraged the setting up of new businesses in recent years. Notably, the country is one of the leading nations in Africa for startups. In 2020, 500 startups were counted in Ghana. To start a new business, an estimated number of 12 days were needed as of 2022, which encourages self-employment. Employers made up 5.7 percent of the total employment in Ghana in 2020. Male employers covered 6.7 percent of the total male employment, while self-employed women accounted for 4.5 percent of the female employment. On the whole, self-employment figures have slowly increased over the last decade. Some common areas of self-employment are farming, craft, and food processing.
Economic sector contributions to employment
Employment in Ghana is driven by the service sector, which occupied over 49 percent of the country’s total employment in 2019. On the other hand, the agricultural and industry sectors covered around 30 percent and 21 percent of the total employment, respectively. Some main industries of work in the country include travel and tourism, arts and entertainment, and health. As of 2020, the travel and tourism industry represented 4.2 percent of Ghana’s total employment. Also, employees in the health and social work industry reached around 261,100, while the arts and entertainment industry registered an employee base of around 87,300. Generally, the informal sector accounts for the largest proportion of workers in Ghana, compared to formal sector employment. This includes home-based and contributing family workers.
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