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Business News of Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Source: BFT

Employment rate increases

The number of people in employment in the formal sector of the economy has risen slightly, by 1.5 percent as of the end of last year.

The formal worker population in the country increased from 1,211,620 in 2006 to 1,230,908 at the end of last year most of which are largely concentrated in the services sector.

With an estimated working population of about 10 million, this new data shows that a large number of the working population have been engaged in the non ¬formal sector of the economy, which is estimated to absorb about 80 percent of the working population. Currently, the services sector controls about 71 percent of the employee population in the country followed by commerce, which has nine percent of the workers.

The manufacturing industry has eight percent while the Agriculture and Construction sectors have three percent and four percent respectively.

Last year, about 102,567 new workers were added to the worker population in the formal sector as against the 90,906 new workers registered in 2006.

The Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), Kwasi Osei, said the increase in new workers is the highest the Trust has recorded in recent times.

"It is a reflection of growth in the formal sector of the economy," he said.

He said the increase in the worker population in the formal sector largely explains the increase in the contributions of workers to the Social Security Scheme from about GH¢287 million in 2006 to GH¢385 million in 2007.

"The average employee compliance rate to the social security fund was 79.8 per cent last year, while the employer compliance rate was 70.8 percent," he added.

He said the Informal Sector Scheme, introduced by the Trust in 2005 to cover employees in the informal sector, has so far registered more than 13,715 with a total contribution of about GH¢2 million in its operational areas including Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua and Takoradi.

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