EconomyFact Check

Nketiah’s claim about ‘All-time high youth unemployment rate’ False!

Claim: Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, has said that Ghana has recorded an all-time-high youth unemployment rate according to the Population and Housing Census (PHC) 2020.

Verdict: This is false. There was no PHC 2020. Data from the International Labour Organization indicates that Ghana’s all-time high youth unemployment was recorded in 2000.

Full Text

The Government of Ghana has recently come under severe criticism over the high cost of living in the country. The opposition party, National Democratic Congress, believes the economy is in shambles due to the government’s reckless expenditure and poor management of the economy. 

The opposition, NDC, on Monday, March 20, 2023, organised an event  dubbed ‘True State of the Nations Address.’ This was held at UPSA, Accra. 

At that event, the NDC discredited the president’s State of the Nation address and touted it as full of lies particularly crafted to deceive Ghanaians. He, however,  made some contentious claims worthy of interrogation. 

Mr Nketiah made several counterclaims during the event,  including assertions about the youth unemployment rate in Ghana.

According to Mr Nketiah, youth unemployment rates were at an all-time high under the current government.

“Youth unemployment is at an all-time high according to the 2020 Population and Housing Census,” he said in his opening remarks. Find the full text of ‘True, state of the nation address.’

His claim can be found from 00:38 to 00:46 as published on UTV Ghana Online on Youtube.


According to Statista, youth unemployment is the proportion of the economically active population aged 15 to 24 that has no work but is searching for employment. The World Bank Group indicates ages 15 to 24 as a youth in measuring youth unemployment.

Data from the World Bank indicates that Ghana’s all-time high youth unemployment rate was recorded in 2000. The youth unemployment rate stood at 16.2. The data covered the years 1991 to 2021.

Image Source: World Bank

Also, DUBAWA further checked data from Statista. The data covers the years 2002 to 2021. From the data, an all-time high rate of youth unemployment in Ghana was recorded in 2015, with 14.28%.

Image Source:

DUBAWA checked all Population and Housing censuses from 2000- 2021. The researcher noted that the Population and Housing Census 2000 did not capture unemployment rates for the year of the census.

DUBAWA also examined Population and Housing Census, 2010, as published by Ghana Statistical Service. On table 26 of the PHC, 2010, the unemployment rate was 5.8 for both sexes aged 15 years and older. The census did not include data for ages 15 to 25 only.

DUBAWA checked records from the Ghana Statistical Service.  No document was recorded as the ‘Population and Housing Census, 2020. However, the researcher found PHC 2021 on the GSS page. Figure 4.1 of the Population and Housing Census, 2021, Volume 3E, Economic  Activity, shows the unemployment rate at 7.8, 8.3, and 7.0 for the national, urban and rural populations, respectively. 

Image Source: Ghana Statistical Service

Image Source. Ghana Statistical Service

These are unemployment rates for the population 15 years and older. The Population and Housing Census 2021 did not have specific unemployment rates for youth (years 15 to 25). 


There was no Population and Housing Census 2020. The Population and Housing Census 2021 has no data on youth unemployment. However,  data from the International Labour Organisation and Statista indicate that Ghana recorded high youth unemployment rates in 2000 and 2015, respectively.  

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