380,000 Workers Poor, Face Food Insecurity

Professor Samuel Kobina Annim

The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) has revealed that about 380,000 people in the country’s labour force are multidimensionally poor, face food insecure and unemployment.

Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, presenting the quarterly Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) report in Accra yesterday, said between the first and second quarter of 2022, food insecurity dropped by 7.0 percentage points while multidimensional poverty dropped by 2.6 per cent. However, unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points.

Prof. Annim further revealed that the “Savannah Region has the highest percent of triple burdened persons” (8.2%) which is more than twice the national average of 3.2 per centage.

“The findings indicated that about 390,000 persons 15 years and older unemployed in quarter 1 remained unemployed in quarter 2 of 2022 while between the first and second quarters of 2022, about 445,000 persons 15 years and older outside the labour force joined the number of unemployed persons.

The labour statistics also indicated that about two-thirds of the employed population are engaged in vulnerable employment with significant variation across urban areas (56.4%) and rural (80%),” he said.

The report Prof. Annim stated, also highlighted gender inequalities in the labour force indicating that unadjusted gender pay gap in the first quarter is 37.3 percent, with males earning a mean hourly pay of GH¢11.00 and females GH¢6.90.

“Other highlights from the release indicated 49.1% of persons in Ghana are moderately food insecure, 12.3% are severely food insecure and 44.1% are multidimensional poor. Health insurance coverage is the leading contributor to multidimensional poverty with about 14 million persons in Ghana not currently having active health insurance coverage,” he added.

Senior Advisor to the Vice President Professor Kwaku Appiah-Adu, who chaired the event commended the Ghana Statistical Service for conducting the AHIES which is generating timely and relevant data for policy and planning.

“As a country, we have great challenges and great opportunities; I am in no doubt that the comprehensive quarterly labour force, food insecurity and multi-dimensional poverty report obtained will support the government in evidence-based decision-making and policy design of its programmes and projects for development and a more robust outlook of the Ghanaian economy,” he said.

The Annual Household Income and Expenditure Survey (AHIES) is the first nationally representative high-frequency household panel survey in Ghana.

The AHIES is being conducted to obtain quarterly and annual data on household final consumption expenditure and a wide scope of demographic, economic and welfare variables including statistics on labour, food security, multidimensional poverty and health status for research, policy, and planning.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri