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Chapter One: Introduction 1.1 Background

Unemployment occurs when persons are out of work and actively looking for work (ILO, 2010). West Africa has the fastest rising young population in the world. Over 20% of its population is aged 15 to 24.

According to the ILO, youth account for 36% of the entire working-age population, and three out of every five African unemployed are young people (ILO, 2010). It is projected that young aged 15 to 25 make up more than 60% of Africa’s overall population

with youth accounting for 45 percent of the work force. Youth are expected to account for more than 75% of the overall population by 2015, owing to strong birth rates and demographic momentum. The increase in the youth population is likely to continue for at least 20 years.

In Africa, 133 million young people (more than 50% of the entire youth population) are illiterate (ILO, 2010). Many young people lack basic skills or have little of them, preventing them from participating in constructive economic, social, and political activity.

Some people with less formal schooling have skills that are irrelevant to current labour market demand, resulting in more unemployed youngsters. Youth unemployment in West Africa is estimated at 20%.

Unemployment has a wide range of implications for equality, social stability, and self-esteem, as well as poverty alleviation. The Ghanaian government has no clear policy on youth employment; the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports deals directly with youth issues, whereas the Ministry of Public Service, Labour, and Human Resource Development deals with vocational training issues, as stated in the Ghana Vocational Training Policy 2008. This was designed to improve practical skills for the labour market and self-employment in order to address changing technical demands for the social and economic growth of Ghana’s youth.

This study will look at the impact of youth unemployment on the standard of living in the upper west (Wa municipal). The researcher will use people’s views to determine the true level of young unemployment and overall unemployment rates in order to analyse the effects of youth unemployment on Ghana’s standard of living.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO, 2010), youth unemployment is one of West Africa’s macroeconomic challenges. It is a big worry in Ghana because it presents various hurdles to the country’s economic growth.

According to studies conducted in other countries such as Somalia, Uganda, USA, South Africa, Kenya, EU, and South East Asia, the impacts of youth unemployment include: loss of income, loss of government revenue (tax), increased dependence, increased divorce, social isolation, a high crime rate, family tension, erosion of self-confidence and self-esteem, mental depression, drug abuse, homelessness, poverty, early school dropout, alcoholism, rural-urban migration, and poor health.

Long-term unemployment has a negative impact on individuals’ future earnings, while other characteristics such as education, gender, experience, and place of residence influence individual income levels.

According to the current literature on the effects of youth unemployment and its effect on earnings in Ghana, there is a knowledge vacuum because no study has been conducted on the affects of unemployment on standard of living. This is the gap that this study tries to fill.


The project aims to answer the following research questions.

What effect does youth unemployment have on the standard of living in Wa Municipality?

What additional things influence income in Wa Municipal State?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The overall goal is to investigate the impact of youth unemployment on the level of living. The precise aims include:

To determine the impact of youth unemployment on the level of living in Wa municipal.

To study the impact of other factors on income, Wa municipal

To develop inferences and give policy recommendations based on these findings.

1.5 Scope of the Study

The study will investigate the population’s perceptions of unemployment status, understand the extents and nature of youth unemployment, reduce youth unemployment, identify major factors contributing to youth unemployment

examine the effects of youth unemployment on earnings, and provide a platform for policymakers to conduct in-depth analysis in order to comply with projects and programmes designed to eliminate youth unemployment.


Upper West Wa municipal was chosen due to worrying youth unemployment rates in recent years, as well as a lack of effort by the central government’s programmes and projects to provide opportunities for the city’s growing youthful population.

The study will concentrate on the effects of youth unemployment in Upper West Washington Municipal State. The findings will be utilised to generalise the effects of young unemployment in Upper West (Wa Municipal) State and Ghana in general.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study will contribute to an academic knowledge of unemployment, particularly the consequences of youth unemployment on income/earnings, and will assist policymakers in their search for suitable policies targeting states where unemployment is an issue.

Furthermore, the study will add to the existing knowledge while also serving as an advocate for Ghana’s unemployed. Finally, the study’s findings and conclusions can be utilised to inform future research on unemployment.

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