We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Ghana: National Requirements
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Economy > Labor Force > National Requirements


Although the Ghanaian labor force grew throughout the 1980s, the structure of employment remained relatively stable, but thereafter fell three years in a row, standing at 251,500 in 1988. By 1992 the number of public sector workers had grown to an estimated 595,000, although some 55,000 had been made redundant.

Considering the relative importance of public-sector employment, ERP policies to reduce the scope of state enterprises had a profound impact on patterns of unemployment. In the mid1980s, cutbacks at Ghana Cocoa Board (20,000 jobs), Ghana National Trading Corporation (2,000 jobs), and the shipping enterprise, the Black Star Line (1,000 jobs), contributed to nearly 30,000 job losses in the parastatal sector alone by the end of 1986. The civil service lost an estimated 15,000 jobs in the same period. In 1990 fifteen of the remaining state-owned enterprises reduced their payrolls by about 13,000 employees; no figures were available for losses resulting from the liquidation of an additional twenty-two state enterprises that year.

Although ERP policies resulted in the loss of many jobs for Ghanaians, their implementation met relatively minor resistance from organized labor. The most serious challenge came in 1986 on the issue of income rather than that of layoffs. The unions threatened action in response to the government's decision (under pressure from the IMF) to abolish leave allowances, a crucial benefit that substantially supplemented low public-sector wages. In response, the government reversed its decision and revised the 1986 budget. After that, the government stepped up taxes on allowances and, in some cases, consolidated them into wages and salaries. Meanwhile, the unemployed continued to express concern over the slow materialization of end-of-service payments. In response, the 1992 budget contained proposals for packages comprising down payments, shares in profitable state-owned enterprises, and interest on deferred payments.

Data as of November 1994

Last Updated: November 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Ghana was first published in 1994. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Ghana Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 83 of 181


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

(₵) Ghanian Cedi (GHC)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map