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88.2% labour class lack salary-paying jobs – Report

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About 88.2 per cent of working-age Nigerians lack salary-paying jobs, according to findings by .

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that only about 11.8 per cent of working-age Nigerians were engaged in wage employment in the first quarter of 2023.

According to the asksource.info, wage employment includes any salaried or paid job under contract (written or not) to another person, organisation, or enterprise in both formal and informal economies.

The NBS also disclosed that there was a decrease of 1.6 percentage points in the percentage for wage employment from 13.4 per cent in Q4 2022 to 11.8 per cent in Q1 2023.

The Nigeria Labour Force Survey (4th Quarter 2022 and 1st Quarter 2023) report by the NBS read, “The share of wage employment was 13.4 per cent in Q4 2022 and 11.8 per cent in Q1 2023.”

However, the NBS did not provide a value for the total number of working-age Nigerians, unlike in its previous report.

In 2020, the NBS placed Nigeria’s working-age population at 122 million.

The NBS further disclosed that most Nigerians are self-employed, and only a few per cent have a wage job.

The report read, “Majority of Nigerians are self-employed while a much smaller proportion hold wage jobs. In Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, 73.1 per cent and 75.4 per cent of employed Nigerians respectively, worked in their own business or farming activity for their primary job.

“On the other hand, 13.4 per cent (in Q4 2022) and 11.8 per cent (in Q1 2023) of employed Nigerians were engaged as employees (being wage-employed) in their primary jobs. A further 10.7 per cent (in Q4 2022) and 10.5 per cent (in Q1 2023) of employed Nigerians were primarily engaged in helping in a household business, receiving pay or profit indirectly even if it was not their own business.

“A small proportion of employed Nigerians were primarily engaged as apprentices or interns (2.6 per cent in Q4 2022 and 2.2 per cent in Q1 2023). Those helping a household member who worked for someone else was about 0.2 per cent in both Q4 2022 and Q1 2023.”

It was also disclosed that sex, educational attainment, age, and urban-rural were strongly associated with the likelihood of holding a wage job.

Employed men were more likely to engage primarily in wage jobs than employed women; employed people with higher levels of educational attainment: those with post-secondary education were more likely to engage primarily in wage jobs; employed people who were aged more than 65 years and those aged 15-24 years were the least likely to engage primarily in wage jobs; and employed urban dwellers were more likely to be primarily engaged in wage jobs than employed rural dwellers.

Despite the improvement, Nigeria still has one of the highest unemployment rates when compared to neighbouring countries.

Data from the NBS showed that the unemployment rate is 0.7 per cent in Niger, 3.9 per cent in Ghana, 1.5 per cent in Chad, and 1.8 per cent in Benin.

Cameroon and Nigeria both have a rate of 4.1 per cent.

However, the NBS has been criticised for its new methodology, which critics claimed is not a true picture of reality in the country.