Data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that in the third quarter of 2015, the total number of jobs recorded in the economy was 475,180 jobs, this is a significant increase of 236.1 percent (333,812) when compared with the previous quarter and 36 percent (125,837) when compared to the third quarter of 2014.
The increase in the number of jobs in the third quarter was said to be driven mainly by informal sector jobs, which accounted for 90.2 percent (428,690) of total jobs, and followed by formal sector jobs, which accounted for 8.8 percent (41,672) of jobs in the third quarter, while the public sector generated 4,818 jobs, representing 1.01 percent of jobs in the quarter under review.
Under informal sector, which typically consist of jobs in individual or household businesses employing less than 10 and operating with little or no structures e.g. those in Agriculture, Light Manufacturing and Trade etc, the jobs generated in the informal sector in Q3 2015 (accounting for over 90 percent of total jobs in Q3 2015), were predominantly in rural agricultural activities.
According to NBS report, over 70 percent of the informal sector jobs created in Q3 2015 were related to rural agriculture due to the beginning of the farming season where rural and subsistence farmers become fully engaged on their farms. The third quarter of the year in coincides with the planting season in Nigeria and has historically recorded higher job numbers when compared to other quarters, as farmers employ more hands to assist on the farms.
Also, accounting for the increase in informal jobs in the third quarter, is the increase in the number of people previously not in labour force in the second quarter but now in the labour force and working informal jobs due to their inability to find white collar formal jobs.
The survey showed more people who were not willing or available for work in the second quarter, for example house wives or graduates waiting for service, or who were holding out for white collar and better paying and suitable formal jobs (but couldn’t find) are now working informal jobs in trade, catering services, tailoring and the likes to make a livelihood in the absence of other social safety nets and more preferable declining formal jobs.