Nigeria needs to create 30 million new jobs by 2030 to maintain current employment rate, says World Bank

NIGERIA – Thirty million new jobs are needed in Nigeria by 2030 to maintain the current employment rate, the World Bank has said.

In its latest Nigeria Economic Update, the Bank 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 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.

According to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, the country has an unemployment rate of 23.10% and is projected to reach a high of 33.5% in 2020 while the rate of underemployment is currently put at 20.1%.

The World Bank noted that the country’s labor force was also growing rapidly, adding that in the last five years, 19 million Nigerians entered the labor market which was only able to create 3.5 million jobs.

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%.

“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.

They joined the 16 million already unemployed, and competed for just 450,000 new jobs,” the World Bank said in the report.

The large size of Nigeria’s labour force had made it imperative that government at all levels 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 labor market.

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.

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.

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