Coping with Sobowale’s expired ideas

As job market remains unstable post-lockdown

By Elizabeth Adegbesan

The instability in the country’s job market continued in August even as 67 percent of households recorded decline in income during the period.

In its just released COVID’19 Monitoring Impact research Report for August, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that though the overall share of respondents who are working is back to pre-pandemic levels there is evidence of people moving in and out of jobs.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in its Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) report for August had noted that the employment index for August 2020 stood at 44.6 points, indicating a major contraction for the fifth consecutive months as only two of the 14 subsectors recorded expansion in employment level in the review month; three subsectors recorded same level of employment, while the remaining nine subsectors recorded lower employment level.

The NBS in its research report stated: “Even though the overall share of respondents who are working is back to pre-pandemic levels, there continues to be some evidence of people moving in and out of work.

“Only 34 percent of respondents have been working continuously since April/May, while 60 percent have experienced periods without work and 6.0 percent have not worked at all since the start of the pandemic.

“This indicates that there continues to be instability in the job market.

“Over 17 percent of all respondents have started and stopped working at some point since mid-March. Most of the respondents that have been in-and-out of work since mid-March have been engaged in agriculture (56 percent), followed by, commerce (15.6 percent), construction, transport and professional activities (16 percent), and services (12.2 percent).

“Across the three main income generating activities (wages, agriculture, and non-farm enterprises), a significant percentage of households report a decrease in income compared to one year ago.

“Over 67 percent of households reported that their total income decreased compared to the same period one year ago in August 2019, and this decrease was evident across the three main sources of income.

“However, the share of households experiencing a decline in income was highest for nonfarm family business activities at 65 percent of households, compared to 58 percent for agriculture (household farming, livestock or fishing), and 43 percent for wage employment.”

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