This chapter presents economic activity status of the population with reference to age, sex, locality of residence, educational attainment, occupation, industry of employment and sector of employment. There are two categories of economic activity status of the population, economically active and economically not active. The economically active population comprises employed and unemployed. A person is regarded as economically active if he or she a) worked for pay or profit or family gain for at least one hour within the seven days preceding the census night; b) did not work but had a job to return to; or c) was unemployed but seeking employment. The economically not active person did not work and was not seeking work. She or he may be a homemaker, full-time student, retired person, disabled and unable to work because of old age or ill-health. Information on economic activity status was collected from persons 5 years and older.
Table 9.1 shows that, of the population aged 5-14 years (children) in the region, about 4.7 percent are employed in 2010. An overwhelming majority (95.2%) are economically not active and 0.1 percent are unemployed. The proportion of females (4.8%) in the age group 5-14 years who are employed is slightly higher than that of their male counterparts (4.7%). Working children are more common in rural areas (8.2%) than in urban areas (2.1%). The proportion of males (8.4%) working in rural areas is higher than that of females (8.0%) but the reverse is the situation in urban areas where females (2.4%) are more than males (1.7%).
The workforce refers to the population aged 15 years and older. Table 9.2 shows that 69.4 percent of the workforce in the region is economically active. This is a decline compared with 76.9 percent in 2000. Thus, more people in the region are economically not active in 2010 (30.6%) compared with 2000 (23.1%). The data show that males (71.4%) form a larger proportion of economically active population and also constitute the largest proportion of the economically not active population across all age groups. The 35-39, 40-44 and 45-49 years age groups have the highest proportion being economically active, ranging from 91.0 percent to 91.5 percent, while the lowest proportion is the 15-19 years age group (22.0%). There is female dominance among all age groups regarding economically active population except in the age groups 40-44, 55-59 and 60-64 years where the male proportions are slightly higher. Similarly, the economically not active population (not employed, not seeking nor available for work) shows that female proportions are higher than those of males for all age groups, ranging from 50.3 percent for the 15-19 years age group to as high as 70.7 percent among the 35-39 years age group. The high economically not active proportion among female 35-39 requires attention because these form some of the most active years of a person?s life and such inactivity would be expected rather among the 70 years and older group.
Table 9.3 shows a breakdown of the proportion of the economically active population 15 years and older into employed and unemployed, by locality of residence. Among the economically active population, 64.8 percent were employed and 4.6 percent were unemployed in the seven days preceding census night. The proportion of unemployed persons declined from 7.8 percent in 2000 to 4.2 percent in 2010. Relatively higher proportions of males are employed compared to females whereas the reverse is the case for the economically not active persons in the region.
This general pattern of males constituting the highest proportion is observed in both urban and rural areas. It is also observed that persons residing in rural areas are more likely than those in urban areas to be employed, and urban dwellers are more likely than rural dwellers to be economically not active.
Educational Level of Workforce
Table 9.4 shows educational level of the work force by economic activity status and sex. The proportion of the population that is economically active and has never attended school constitutes 21.5 percent of the total population 5 years and older. Females (26.7%) are more likely than males (16.0%) to be economically active.
Persons with primary to middle educational levels are more likely to be economically active than those with senior secondary and higher education. Persons with primary school educational attainment also form the highest proportion of economically not active Level of education by economic activity status and locality of residence shows that of those who have never attended school, 15.6 percent are employed and 11.1 percent are unemployed in urban areas (Table 9.5). The proportion of persons who have never attended school and are employed in rural areas is double (31.2%) the proportion in urban areas. The data show that the majority of the population engaged in economic activity within the region has primary to senior secondary level education in both rural and urban areas. The relatively low level of education of the majority could have long-run repercussions on the economy as Ghana strives to remain and improve on its lower middle-income status.
Occupation of workforce
Occupation of Workforce by Age
Table 9.6 presents employed persons by occupation and age in 2010. More than 30 percent of employed persons aged 15 years and older are skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers. About one fourth (26.5%) and less than one fifth (16.9%) of the workforce are service and sales, and craft and related trades workers respectively. The proportion of the workforce in managerial (2.7%), professional (6.3%) and technicians and associate professional occupations (1.8%) is relatively low. Most managers (4.5%) are in the age group 55-59 years and the fewest are in the 20-24 age group (1.3%). Regarding professionals, the dominant age groups are 55-59 years (8.9%) and 25-29 years (8.8%) and the lowest proportion is among the 70-74 years age group (2.0%).
Age is directly related to the proportion of employed persons in skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery from age 25-29 to 70-74 years. The proportion of the population 15 years and older who are employed in managerial positions increases steadily from 1.3 percent for the 20-24 years age group to 4.5 percent for the 50-59 years age group. The proportions then decline to 1.9 percent for the 70 years and older age groups. The proportion engaged in service and sale increases with age from 27.1 percent for the 15-19 years age group to 28.2 percent for the 35-39 years age group and then declines steadily to 14.1 percent for the 70-74 years age group.
Occupation and education level of workforce
Table 9.7 presents the economically active population 15 years and older by occupation and level of education. Most (54.6%) of those who have never attended school are in either skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery work, services and sales (20.9%) or craft and related work (10.0%). About three in every ten (28.9%) of persons with basic education are in service and sales work or in agricultural, forestry and fishery (28.9%) and craft and related trade work (20.9%). Services and sales workers with senior secondary school background (34.3%) and vocational, technical and technical educational background (34.0%) are proportionately more than other occupational categories. For senior secondary, craft and related work (17.3%), skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery work (11.3%) and professionals are the important areas of work. Table 8.7 also shows that regarding those with post-middle or secondary education, most are professionals (54.6%) and service and sales workers (12.6%); a pattern similar to those with post-secondary diploma, where professionals (49.0%), services and sales (13.0%) and clerical support workers (9.6%) dominate. Most of the workforce with degree or higher educational background are either professionals (56.4%) or managers (14.6%) or clerical support workers (9.7%).
The male-female disparities in occupation and education also shown in Table 8.7 reveal that the majority of the workforce that has never attended school is in skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery; 60.2 percent for males and 51.4 percent for females. There are wide variations in terms of their involvement in other activities such as services and sales (males 9.7%, females 27.2%), craft and related work (males 12.4%, females 8.6%); plant and machine operators and assemblers (males 7.9%, females 0.7%) and elementary occupations (males 7.1%, females 9.8%). The workforce with basic education comprises 32.5 percent of males as against 23.3 percent of females in skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery; 28.8 percent of males and 13.0 percent of females in craft and related work, 14.6 percent males and 0.7 percent of females in plant and machine operators and assemblers; and 12.6 percent males and 45.2 percent females in services and sales. Those with secondary education have more females (50.7%) in services and sales than males (24.2%); elementary occupations (9.4% females, 5% males) and professionals (10.5% females, 10.0% males). The remaining economic activities are, however, dominated by males be it craft and related work (22.1% males, 9.4% females); skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery (14.2% males, 7.1% females); as well as plant and machine operators and assemblers (12.5% males, 0.8% females).
Generally, females (51.2%) with vocational, technical and commercial level of education predominate in services and sales compared with males (17.6%) and in elementary occupations (9.6% females; 3.9% males). With regard to post-middle or post-secondary diploma and higher, females predominate in professionals and service and sales as compared with males but males dominate as managers (15.5% males, 12.1% females). A typical example is those with a bachelor?s degree or higher.
Industry of Workforce
Table 9.8 shows the industry of employed persons (15 years and older) by age group in 2010 for the region. Agriculture, including forestry and fishing, constitutes the largest industrial sector, employing 30.9 percent of the workforce aged 15 years and older. Other major industrial sectors are wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles (25.2%), manufacturing (10.5%), other service activities (6.3%) and accommodation and food service activities (6.0%).
The age groups from 25 and 44 years form the bulk of the workforce in all sectors. Their cumulative proportion is 44.2 percent in agriculture, forestry and fishing. The proportion of the workforce for real estate activities in the region is exceptionally low (480 and constituting 7.3%) relative to the others.
Table 9.9 shows the industry of employed persons (15 years and older) by locality of residence in 2010 for the region. About 59.7 percent of the workforce is employed in urban compared with 40.3 percent in rural areas. With the exception of agriculture including forestry and fishing (82.6%) and mining and quarrying (59.4%) which have a high proportion of their workforce in the rural areas, the remaining sectors have higher proportions of their workforce aged 15 years and older mostly in the urban areas. Thus, as much as 92.5 percent of real estate activities, 90.2 percent of financial and insurance activities, 85.8 percent of electricity gas stream and air conditioning supply; and 85.7 percent of professional scientific and technical activities are concentrated in the urban areas in the region. These are pulling factors in the urban areas regarding rural-urban migration especially for those seeking jobs in industries and occupations that are largely absent in the rural areas.
Employment Status of Workforce
Table 9.10 shows the employment status of the employed persons aged 15 years and older. The data indicate that the majority (58.7%) of the workforce are self-employed without employees. Employees constitute 19.7 percent while contributing family workers make up 7.2 percent. Self-employed with employees constitute 6.8 percent, apprentices 4.3 percent and casual workers (2.6%) of employed persons.
In the 2000 census, self-employed without employees was 64.9 percent and self-employed with employees was 6.5 percent. This means a total of 71.4 percent of the workforce was self-employed as against 65.5 percent for 2010, a decline of about 6 percentage points. Given the drive to invest in the private sector to generate employment opportunities, one would have expected the proportion of the self-employed with employees to increase over the period 2000-2010. Contrary to this expectation, the self-employed with employees that accounted for 6.5 percent of the workforce in 2000 had a marginal increase to 6.8 percent in 2010. Contributing family workers also increased from 5.2 percent in 2000 to 7.2 percent in 2010. This means that businesses owned by households are gradually tapping the services of household members more, perhaps as a way to sustain their profit margins and minimise operational costs. The category of employees increased from 15.0 percent in 2000 to 19.7 percent in 2010.
In terms of age groups and employment status, the highest proportion of employees is in the 20-24 years category (24.7%) and the lowest (7.5%) is in the 70-74 years age group (Table 9.10). From the data, it can be established that age has a direct association with the likelihood of establishing a business. Thus, the proportion of persons 15-19 years old who are self-employed (26.9%) is much smaller than persons in the 60-64 year age group (72.8%). Perhaps raising capital at an early age is difficult for the 20-24 age group that is mostly without any experience in the world of work. The data show that people are more likely to become self-employed at age 30-34 years. It is, therefore, not surprising that the category of self-employed with employee(s) is relatively high from 30-34 year age group through to the 65-69 age group. Perhaps, as businesses get established and even expand, hiring more hands becomes necessary. Contributing family workers and apprentices are identified as activities dominated by youth in the 15-19 and 20-24 year age groups, amounting to 35.0 percent and 11.3 percent respectively for contributing family workers, and 17.2 percent and 16.5 percent for apprentices respectively.
Almost eight of ten persons who are employees (79.9%) are located in urban areas compared with only 20.1 percent in the rural areas (Figure 9.2). The category of casual workers is the only employment status where the proportions in rural (44.3%) and urban (55.7%) areas are relatively closer. This may be due to the common practice of hiring labourers (“by day”) to work on farms that are mostly in rural areas. Dependence on contributing family workers is much more common in rural areas (75.2%) than in urban areas (24.8%) but apprenticeship (80.5%) and self-employed with employees (79.0%) are urban phenomena in the region.
Sector of employment of workforce
Table 9.11 presents employed persons in the population 15 years and older by sector of employment and level of education in 2010. The majority of those who have never attended school are self-employed without employees (70.3%), contributing family workers (11.1%) and employees (8.1%). Almost 64.0 percent of persons with basic school education are self-employed without employees, 13 percent are employees, 7.2 percent are self-employed with employees and 6.9 percent are contributing family workers. Forty-three percent of persons with senior secondary school attainment and 49.7 percent of persons with vocational, technical and commercial educational attainment are self-employed without employees. The proportion of self-employed without employees becomes smaller as the educational level increases from post-middle or secondary certificate and higher. The proportion of the population with post-middle or secondary certificate and higher education stands at 72.0 percent and 87.3 percent for employees.
The male-female disparities in the sector of employment show that the population who have never attended school are mostly self-employed without employees (72% females and 66.8% males). Males with basic educational attainment dominate among the self-employed with employees (56.6%), employees (19.3%) and self-employed with employees (8.5%) but females with the same educational background are more prevalent as self-employed without employees (70.7%) and contributing family workers (8.5%). The proportion of self-employed without employees gets smaller as education level goes up. However, employees become prominent among the workforce with higher education for both males and females.
Generally, self-employed without employees, self-employed with employees are the three major sectors of employment for the population of Ashanti Region but employees become the most important attainment tends to be post-middle or secondary and higher. Contributing family workers are more pronounced among those with lower or no education for both sexes.
Figure 9.3 presents employed persons 15 years and older by employment sector. The employment sector data clearly establish that the private sector is the largest employer in the region (85.7% private informal; 7.1% private formal), accounting for 92.8 percent of employed persons. The public sector, the second highest employment sector, accounts for only 6.6 percent. The formal sector (private formal and public) accounts for 13.7 percent of employed persons.
The workforce in the formal sector, however, has declined from 22.8 percent (public 6.3%; private formal 16.5%) in 2000 to 13.7 percent (public 6.6%; private formal 7.1%) in 2010 indicating a drift from the formal sector to the informal sector. There is clear indication that the private informal sector is expanding as the dominant employment sector in the region (74.2% in 2000 and 85.7% in 2010).
Table 9.12 shows that irrespective of the age group, the majority of employed persons are in the private informal sector of employment. The distribution of the age groups for the government sector shows that 12.5 percent are in the age group 55-59 years and the proportion become smaller among the younger categories. This demonstrates an aging workforce in the public sector. For instance, only 5.8 percent of the workforce aged 35-39 years is in the public sector compared with 12.5 percent aged 55-59 years. The private formal sector employs more youth (20.1% of the 20-34 years age group), compared with other age groups perhaps because they are the most dependable group for profit making and effective business ventures in the region.
Table 9.12: Employed persons 15 years and older by age group and
sector of employment Age group
NGOs (Local and International)
Other International Organisations
Figure 9.4 presents employment sector by locality of residence and shows that the vast majority of jobs in the public, private formal, parastatal, NGOs and other international organizations are all urban-centred. It is only the private informal sector that has a significant share of its jobs in rural areas (43.7%), still smaller than the urban share of 56.3 percent
Table 9.13 shows employed persons 15 years and older by nationality, sex and locality of residence. Among the workforce in the region, 97.7 percent are Ghanaian by birth, dual nationality or by naturalization. Only 2.3 percent of the workforce is non-Ghanaian. There is a slight variation by sex regarding Ghanaians by birth (94.3% for males, 95.1% for females) and non-Ghanaians (2.7% for males, 1.9% for females). There are relatively more non-Ghanaians in urban (2.6%) than in rural Ashanti Region (1.9%).
Table 9.13: Employed persons 15 years and older by sex, nationality and locality Nationality
Ghanaian by birth
Dual nationality (Ghanaian & Other)
Ghanaian by naturalisation
Table 9.15 shows sector of employment and nationality. It is seen that the largest employment sector for Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians is the private informal sector. Among Ghanaians by birth, 85.6 percent are in the private informal sector compared with 7.1 percent in the private formal and 6.6 percent in the public sector.
Date Created : 11/29/2017 4:22:58 AM