The World Bank has said that five million Nigerians joined the labour force in 2018 while only 450,000 of them were employed.
In its Nigeria Economic Update (NEU) Report released in Abuja on Monday, the bank with population growth (estimated at 2.6 percent) outpacing economic growth, per capita incomes are falling.
National Bureau of Statistics reported that Unemployment and Underemployment Report for Quarter 1 to Quarter 3, 2017 had noted that “The number of people within the labor force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.
The agency explained that as of Q3 2017, 67.3 percent of young people aged 15-24 years were either underemployed (engaged in work for less than 20 hours a week or low skilled work not commensurate with their skills and qualifications) or unemployed (have no work at all but willing and actively seeking to work), compared to 64.6 percent in the previous quarter.
Combined underemployment plus unemployment rate for the 25 to 34-year age group stood at 42.5 percent within the quarter under review, compared with 39.6 percent in the previous quarter.
This growth outlook is vulnerable to external and domestic risks, including geopolitical and trade tensions that may affect inflows of private investment.
According to the report, Nigeria has the opportunity to advance reforms to mitigate these risks amid growing public demand for greater economic opportunities.
The report, titled “Jumpstarting Inclusive Growth: Unlocking the Productive Potential of Nigeria’s People and Resource Endowments”, shows that Nigeria created about 450,000 new (net) jobs in 2018, partially offsetting the loss of 700,000 jobs in the previous year.
However, Nigeria’s labor force is growing rapidly, and in 2018 over 5 million Nigerians entered the labor market.
This resulted in 4.9 million more unemployed people in the last year.