Wednesday, May 9, 2012

growth without jobs

By the numbers, Ghana's a mind-blowing success. This West African nation's GDP has almost tripled since 2005--an astonishing achievement. Yet this article from The Ghanaian Chronicle (via AllAfrica) points out, workers had little to cheer this past May Day, because, as the country's top labor leader put it, ""The reality is that the unprecedented growth rate has failed to create decent jobs for Ghanaians. Joblessness is on the rise. Nearly all new jobs are being created in the informal economy, where incomes are low and workers have very little protection from the country's labour laws."

The Trade Union Congress blames the government's emphasis on exporting natural resources for creating economic gain without concomitant gains for workers. In other words, Ghana's 1 percent just keeps getting richer.

President John Evans Atta Mills told the paper that the country had met all the fundamental requirements of the International Labour Organisation, and now stands to receive substantial rewards from the international community in Ghana's effort to achieving decent conditions and rights for workers.

But what does that mean? Aid instead of trade?

Robust job creation in the informal economy is not the problem. Indeed, it's the way forward to sustainable growth--economic growth that means jobs for people and a better life for the widest possible swathe of the population.

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