Thirty million new jobs are needed in Nigeria by 2030 to maintain the current employment rate, the World Bank has said.
It said the projection was based on the country’s current population growth trend and its unemployment rate.
Unemployment rate in Nigeria increased to 23.10 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 from 22.70 per cent in the second quarter of 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. It said this could reach 33.5 per cent this year.
In its latest Nigeria Economic Update, the World Bank reported that the differential between high rates of population growth and low rates of job creation had led to an increase in unemployment and underemployment.
Nigeria’s underemployment rate is currently put at 20.1 per cent.
It said, “Given the high population growth rates, nearly 30 million new jobs would be needed by 2030 just to keep the current employment rate constant.”
The World Bank noted that the country’s labour force was also growing rapidly, adding that in the last five years, 19 million Nigerians entered the labour force.
It said 3.5 million jobs were created during the period, which spanned the recent recession period.
It also stated that 80 per cent of new labour market entrants ended up unemployed, adding 15 million to the number of unemployed.
“Between 2015 and 2018, the number of unemployed nearly quadrupled and the unemployment rate reached 23 per cent.
“Nationally, in the year after the recession (the third quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018), more than five million Nigerians entered the labour force; joining the 16 million already unemployed, they competed for just 450,000 new jobs,” the World Bank said in the report, which was obtained by our correspondent.
The large size of Nigeria’s labour force had made it imperative that government at all levels must implement measures to create more jobs, the bank further observed.
According to the NBS, out of 115 million working-age Nigerians in 2018, 90 million were active in the labour force.
Out of the 90 million people, about 70 million were employed full or part-time, while another 21 million were unemployed but actively looking for jobs.
Unemployment is said to be particularly acute among youths and women. For instance, in 2018, about 37 per cent of persons aged 15–24 were said to be unemployed, compared to 16–24 per cent in the other age groups.
Out of those employed, only one-third had full-time jobs, compared to two-thirds of the workforce as a whole.
Also, 48 per cent of active women were reportedly employed full-time, compared to 64 per cent of men.
The NBS also reported that women held only about 30 per cent of civil service jobs.
Besides the high unemployment rate, the World Bank, in the Nigeria Economic Update, observed that the quality of jobs in the country had declined.
It said that the chances of getting full-time employment also declined.
The bank said, “The quality of the available jobs has declined. Most new jobs created in the last five years were part-time, and the likelihood of getting a full-time job is now lower than it was before the oil shock.
“In 2014, 81 per cent of new jobs were full-time. As the economy entered recession in 2016, fewer full-time jobs became available, though there were more part-time jobs.
“In 2017, there were not enough part-time jobs to balance the sustained decline in full-time jobs, and total jobs fell by more than 700,000.
“In 2018, both full and part-time jobs grew positively but at a low rate. By the end of the year, three million fewer full-time jobs were available than had been before the crisis,” the bank said.
It also noted the high rate of unemployment and underemployment contributed to the growth of the informal economy, with Nigeria having an estimated 54.6 million informal workers, representing 53 per cent of the labour force.
“The size of Nigeria’s informal economy has been estimated at 50 per cent, among the highest on the continent,” the World Bank said, adding that an estimated 75 per cent of all new jobs were informal.
The bank said, “Informal jobs tend to offer less employment and income security, especially since employers have little access to financial services.
“Many low-income households depend on subsistence agriculture or low-productivity self-employment in services and industry, and a significant share of the population moves in and out of poverty,” the bank added.
In the Nigeria Economic Update, the bank warned that the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty could increase by more than 30 million by 2030 and the country might be home to 25 per cent of the world’s destitute people, if the government failed to revive economic growth and create jobs.