The New Patriotic Party (NPP) launched its 2016 manifesto in Accra, this Sunday. When our team of fact-checkers subjected two claims made by Alan Kyeremanten to scrutiny, it was found that his estimate of youth unemployment was completely false whiles his claim about growth in the manufacturing and mining sector was found to be mostly false. Below are the specific claims he made, the fact-checking verdicts and the bases for the verdicts.
Claim 1: According to the World Bank, about 48 percent of Ghanaians between the ages of 15-24 are unemployed.
Verdict: Completely False
Explanation: Generally, the 15-24 age group is the conventional definition of youth. Unemployment rates largely refer to the percentage of a population that is available and actively looking for work, but are without jobs. In Ghana, the Ghana Statistical service through the labour force model of the Ghana living Standards Survey (GLSS) collects work-related statistics from selected households to track employment and labour related developments in the country. According to the most recent report (GLSS 6) covering 2013, unemployment rate among the 15-24 age group was 10.9%. This figure contradicts the 48% cited by Alan Kyeremanten at the NPP manifesto launch. Mr. Kyeremanten’s figure may or may not be related to several news reports that emerged earlier this year. In these stories which were supposed to be based on a 2016 World Bank report, it was claimed that 52% of persons in Ghana aged 15-24 were employed as against about 90% of 25-64 age group. This led to the erroneous conclusion that 48% of the Ghanaian population aged 15-24 were unemployed. What these news reports failed to highlight was that many young people within this age bracket were less likely to hold jobs because they were schooling. In fact, according to a 2016 World Bank report on youth employment in Ghana, about a third (31%) of the 15-24 age group were economically inactive because they were in school. Further, only 4% of the 15-24 age group were considered unemployed even though 14% of this age group were not working while also being out of school. The crux of the World Bank’s report is that youth who are out of school and economically active generally have access to jobs, but these jobs are of poor quality. So, in light of the above current and credible evidences, Mr. Kyeremanten’s claim of 48% unemployment among 15-24 aged persons in Ghana is actually false.
Claim 2: In 2015, manufacturing recorded a negative growth of -2 percent while mining recorded a negative growth of -3.8 percent.
Verdict: Mostly False
Explanation: According to the 2016 mid-year budget review, the manufacturing sector was reported to have “registered a growth rate of 2.2 percent, an improvement over the contraction recorded in 2014. Mining and Quarrying, however, recorded a negative growth of 2.9 percent, mainly on account of reduced gold production and subdued growth in the upstream petroleum industry.” So contrary to Mr. Kyeremanten’s claim, the manufacturing sub-sector did not record a negative growth in 2015. Additionally, it is partly true that the mining sector recorded a negative growth but, Mr. Kyeremanten exaggerated the figure.