Why is The Recent Online Recruitment Data Not Consistent With the Economic and Unemployment Data?

Every year over a million fresh graduates join the Nigerian Labor market which is 25 million in excess of the country’s employment capacity. Compounding the already sad situation, the economy is largely dependent on the oil sector prompting an economic recession as global oil prices surpasses record low in 2016. Other factors contributing not mentioning include lack of skills required by most employers. Furthermore, the level of job demand in the labor market significantly exceeds the rate of employment and jobs created.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that the level unemployment and underemployment increased by 13.9% with an underemployment rate of 19.7% in Q3 2016. Also, the Job creation survey by the same body revealed that the total number of jobs generated in Q3 2016 declined by 60.6% from the same period of the previous year. In another report, the Online Recruitment report, for Q3 2016, the number of applications by prospective job seekers was down by 67.3% relative to the previous year.

These data extremes illustrate the difficulties in trying to figure out the true picture of employment/unemployment situation in Nigeria. However, the general consensus is that the reality of unemployment is not explained by any official data. However, a more realistic data would be 33.6% i.e. the total of the unemployment (13.9%) and underemployment (19.7%) rates, while the level of underemployment itself is believed to be significantly higher than reported. This makes the recruitment report one of a number of official government reports with apparent errors.

The online recruitment report may have been impacted negatively by the multi-job-seeking platforms as well as the career web pages of different companies. A contracting conclusion in the report was the slight increase in the number of vacancies in the same quarter. More of the relevant job seeking websites may have to be compelled for data input to give a better view of the recruitment trend.

The reports make no distinction between a newly created job and a saved job as well as movement between unemployment and underemployment. We expect the rough ride to continue as inconsistent data strains uncertainty.  However, we continue to see spotty improvement in the job market, although there continues to be no real pattern or strong sustainable demand rather we see continued demand for part-time workers due to increased outsourcing, which we generally see in uncertain times, going forward employers are likely to be hesitant to make full time commitments.



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