The total number of fresh jobs created in the Nigerian economy declined by 287,954 jobs or 60.6 per cent from 475,180 jobs in the third quarter of last year to 187,226 in the third quarter of this year, figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics have revealed.

The NBS stated this in its job creation report for the third quarter of this year which was released on Saturday in Abuja.

The NBS, in the report, stated that the magnitude of employment in the economy has not been sufficient to meet the ever-growing labour market, adding that this was responsible for the continuous rise in the level of unemployment in the country.

It said the huge number of unemployment is a reflection of the current economic realities as only few businesses are growing and employing while many others are shedding jobs.

It added that both the public and private sector are currently finding it difficult to create jobs due to the economic crisis, adding that most states are currently finding it difficult to pay salaries of existing workers.

The NBS in the report stated that with the Nigerian labour force rising by over 2.6 million annually, the economy needs to generate the same level of jobs annually to hold the unemployment rate at the current level of 13.9 per cent.

The report reads in part, “In the third quarter of 2016, the total number of jobs generated rose to 187,226 from the 155,444 generated in quarter two, representing an increase of 20.4 per cent quarter on quarter, but a decline of 60.6 per cent year on year.

“The formal sector recorded 49,587 jobs, representing 26.5 per cent share of new jobs in quarter three.The informal sector recorded a larger share of new jobs in quarter three when compared to the previous quarter, reporting a figure of 144,651 jobs, which represents 77.3 per cent of new jobs in quarter three.

“The public sector again recorded a negative growth in employment, with a figure of -7,012 in quarter three.

“The reported negative growth in public sector job numbers over the last year has not been entirely surprising, as many state governments across the country have struggled to pay salaries, hence restricting the number of new intakes and in some instances placing a complete embargo on new employment into the public service.”

The NBS in the report explained that despite the negative economic growth, the net jobs created was still positive in both the formal and informal sectors as more jobs are being created despite job losses especially informal low paying jobs.

“Positive net formal jobs in both second quarter and third quarter 2016 were driven by the human health and social services sectors as well as agriculture and accommodation and food services, which accounted for about 90 per cent,” it added.

In terms of labour productivity, the NBS in the report said there was a rise in labour productivity from N636.3 per hour to N713.77.

It said the overall level was low when compared to the same period last year as a result of several challenges that generally impacted on output and labour, and indirectly on labour productivity which kept it below optimal levels.

It said, “Investment in the economy was still relatively low, though some government investments were recorded during the quarter, the volume of private investment and foreign direct investments was still considerably low compared to previous years.

“Power was relatively stable throughout the quarter, which partly accounted for the increase in labour productivity. Though there was a contraction in the economy in third quarter in real terms accompanied by an increasing unemployment rate, the growth in labour productivity implies a gradual increase in labour efficiency employed in the economy.”

The nature of productivity in the third quarter,according to the report also gives an idea of the main drivers of the growth in labour productivity.

For instance, it said the agriculture sector recorded a growth of 4.5 per cent which is the highest among any major economic activity as the third quarter was the harvest season in the Nigerian agricultural calendar.

The report added hat other labour intensive sectors such as human health and social services as well as accommodation and food services, also accounted for the most jobs created in Q3 2016.

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