‘No labour market information system in Sierra Leone’


-Labour Minister asserts

October 24, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Minister of Labour and Social Security last Friday (21 October) stated that the country does not have a labour market information system, adding that such a situation makes it difficult to give accurate information on the size of the formal and informal economies, as well as the number of economically active persons in general, among others.

Dr. Mathew Teambo was speaking at the Hill Valley Hotel in Freetown during the closing ceremony of the Intra-Africa Talent Mobility Partnership training session on labour market information system.

He said labour market analysis was important in determining the country’s priorities as well as all policy and programme interventions aimed at reducing unemployment and poverty.

“It is also a key element in the strategic link between economic growth and poverty reduction and this analysis should provide recommendations to ensure efficient and inclusive patterns,” he said.

According to him, policy makers in the country were constrained in the process of employment related policy development due to the absence of a reliable and regular labour market statistics for the formulation of development programmes and effective labour market policies to create jobs.

He maintained that the lack of comprehensive labour market statistics makes it impossible to provide policy makers with comprehensive and reliable information on the situation of the labour force in the country.

He opined that both international partners and the public at large continue to rely on guess estimates as to the true nature of the structure and characteristics of the labour market, especially on the employment difficulties of the youth.

Dr. Teambo said that it was as a result of the aforementioned challenges that his ministry was working closely with other ministries, departments and agencies to establish a credible and sustainable labour market information system for Sierra Leone that would provide regular and accurate data on labour market.

“For decades before now, the availability of data on labour and employment situation in the country have been collected from the Sierra Leo ne Integrated Household Surveys and the Population and Housing Census, conducted by Statistics Sierra Leone,” he stated.
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The Labour Minister reckoned that the country’s labour market would only be productive if employment policies facilitate the transitions that enable the workforce to acquire new skills and both domestic and migrant workforce become more mobile in order to respond to the emerging skills needs.