Indications at the weekend were that the unemployment rate in the country would rise to 33.6 per cent of the population by the end of the year.
This is even as the number of people looking for employment through Nigeria’s biggest recruiting website has jumped five-fold since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the struggle faced by many Nigerians. “Typically we have about 10,000 active job-seekers a week,” Hilda Kragha, Jobberman’s Chief Executive Officer, said in interview in Lagos.
She said: “During this pandemic, we have been having over 55,000, which means more people are looking for jobs.”
Like many countries Nigeria has been hit hard economically after implementing lockdowns to contain the spread of coronavirus. Africa’s top oil producer was also reeling from a collapse in crude prices earlier in the year and is suffering from rampant dollar shortages.
Combined they have exacerbated the strain on a wide range of businesses in a country that has long struggled to provide jobs for its young population.
The data from Jobberman, which recruits mainly whitecollar employees and doesn’t track those looking for nonskilled, blue-collar work, chimes with official estimates that sees unemployment in the nation of more than 200 million soaring to 34 per cent by the end of the year from 23 per cent in 2019.
While there was a 40 per cent drop in recruitment in March, the first two weeks after movement restrictions were imposed, applications per vacancy on the online platform has jumped by 183 per cent this year.
Quick Jump Numbers of application per job posting has increased than previous years, said Jobberman. With Nigeria’s economy set to contract 5.4 per cent this year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, IT and telecommunication firms are topping Jobberman’s hiring charts as Nigerian companies, like others worldwide, adapt to an at-home workforce.
Likewise the hospitality, tourism, travel, aviation, entertainment and oil and gas industries have fallen to the bottom.
Top Employers IT & Telecoms lead hiring as Covid-19 changed companies’ work pattern Firms are also cutting down on the number of staff they need or are putting off offers to new employees as they reassess their plans.
“We have a client who was trying to hire 2,000 people before the pandemic, as the pandemic started they reduced to 500 and now they’ve only confirmed about 200 people,” Kragha said.
At least 10 per cent of those already offered jobs through the platform have been put on hold by their potential employers.
Jobberman, which is a local unit of Ringier One Africa Media Group, has over two million registered job seekers on its platform and placed 16,000 job-seekers in roles in the past three months, according to Kragha.