Today we introduce another runner in the ever expanding stable of publications from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The bureau has partnered with the largest player in the market to produce the Nigeria Online Recruitment Report. The data is valuable for the insight into better paid jobs, and those therefore likely to give a boost to tax collection. The number of applications has fallen sharply over 12 months while the number of vacancies has been stable.
The report points to 266,800 applications in Q3 2016, compared with 815,200 one year earlier. We might think that applications would rise in a recession. When we make such comparisons, it may be relevant that the bureau has partnered with the largest, but not the only, market participant.
In contrast, the number of vacancies increased marginally from 14,000 to 14,100 over the same period.
The ratio of applications per vacancy was highest for the higher-profile, white collar jobs: 80 for oil, gas and mining, 68 for engineering, and 67 for banking and financial services.
Trade and services accounted for 40.7% of all applications, and 73.2% of all vacancies.
Data on location is only available in a minority of cases. Lagos provided 56.4% of such applicants and Abuja 10.3%. As a measure of diaspora intentions, it is interesting that 4.3% of applications originated from outside Nigeria, compared with 4.4% in the year earlier period. As for vacancies, Lagos and Abuja had 34.7% and 4.6% shares respectively.
The wider picture is provided by another NBS publication, the quarterly Job Creation Survey. Its latest report shows a total of 187,200 jobs created in Q3 2016, an improvement on 155,400 the previous quarter. Again the informal sector was dominant, accounting for 144,600 positions, which would have been outside the online recruitment survey.
Most of the jobs created were therefore low-paid. Human health and social services were the leading destinations for entrants. We could say that a job is a job is a job.
However, the record for all jobs, formal and informal, falls far short of the annual growth of 2.6 million in the labour force. The unemployment rate picked up from 13.3% to 13.9% in Q3.