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Article: Negative effects of youth unemployment in Ghana

One of the key social economic problems of the current stage of development in Ghana is unemployment.

Unemployment is the state of being jobless. It is an economic menace and a canker in the midst of the youth in Ghana. Youth unemployment has been a policy concern for decades because of the ‘scaring effects’ on individuals and the economy.

According to a report by tradingeconomis.com (2019), unemployment increased by 2.40% in March 2019 in Ghana.


 As indicated by unemployment rate and other yardsticks, unemployment is an important measure of the economy’s strength. A high unemployment rate indicates an economy in recession. The problem the young people of Ghana face in securing adequately remunerated and productive jobs after leaving school tends to increase their vulnerability in society, making them susceptible to social vices like armed robbery, because of the following;

Rural-urban migration: Ghana’s unemployment in the urban areas is also found to be more prevalent than in rural areas. The regular migration of people, particularly the youth, from rural areas to urban centers in search of better economic prospects which are not easy to come by, largely explains the phenomenon of the high urban unemployment rate in the country.

Influx of private tertiary institutions: In Ghana, the vast and ever increasing gap between the supply of and the demand for jobs has widened due to the influx of private tertiary institutions. Unfortunately, while job opportunities from the government or public sector have virtually scaled down, private sector growth has been able to adequately absorb the increasing number of graduates.


Notwithstanding the causes mentioned above, youth unemployment in Ghana has truly been noticed. Judging from the political unrest and rise in social vices, they are escalating really fast. When people become unemployed for long, they tend to lose hope in government and democratic principles, and Ghana is no different.

In addition, unemployment affects social issues. Individuals who are unemployed and living in poverty commit many crimes. According to an article/report published by GhanaWeb on 22nd July 2019, violent crimes have increased by 43% in the second quarter of 2019.

Looting, robbing among others are mostly the crimes unemployed youth engage in. Unemployed people look for money through so many ways like duping people by means of Internet fraud, hacking into people’s account and others. This makes the country to be chaotic as social security is certainly jeopardized. When a person is deprived of his source of income, the person obviously becomes poor, poverty rates shoots up and it is a signal that the economy is in a great threat.

Again, unemployed youth are also faced with health issues. As an individual negative effect, being unemployed can lead to depression, low self-esteem, anxiety and other mental problems. This mostly happens when an individual fails to get a job over a period of time.


Ghana is still struggling with the causes and effects of unemployment. A solution to this problem is by the government providing better living conditions for the youth through the creation of sustainable jobs.

It is important for governments to understand that unemployment is a major contributory factor effecting the growth of the economy as expected.

Source: otecfmghana.com

Appiah Juliet Anaasi – Email: julietanaasi@gmail.com

Kwame Offin Boateng-Sarpong – kwameoffin@hotmail.com

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