The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday released its report indicating that employment declined by two per cent in the country in February 2021 from 72 per cent in September 2020 leaving the percentage of Nigerians who were working in February 2021 at close to 70 per cent.
This was contained in the data titled COVID-19 impact monitoring February 2021. The data show the share of Nigerians who were working in February 2021 was only slightly lower than the share working in September 2020, and higher than the share working in January/ February 2019.
NBS recalled that in previous years, the share of people working fell significantly between the post-planting season (around July to September) and the post-harvest season (around January to March).
The document said: “Yet in February 2021, 70 per cent of working-age Nigerians (those aged 15-64 years) were working, only a little below the share (72 per cent) observed in September 2020, and higher than the share observed in January/February 2019 (64 per cent)”.
According to the data, the share of people working in February 2021 was similar in urban and rural areas.
NBS noted the share of those working in February 2021 was higher than the pre- pandemic period because households reinforced their labour supply to meet up with the adverse effects of the pandemic.
The data said: “The fact that the share of Nigerians working in February 2021 is higher than what was observed before the pandemic may be due to “an added worker” effect where households boost their overall labor supply to cope with negative economic shocks”.
The document reads in part: “The share of working-age Nigerians who were working in February 2021 (70 per cent) was only slightly lower than the share observed in September 2020 (72 per cent), and much higher than the share observed in January/February 2019 (64 per cent); this heightened labor supply was driven especially by women.
“The share of workers engaged in commerce was higher in February 2021 (37 per cent of workers) than in September 2020 (26 per cent of workers) and in January/ February 2019 (27 per cent of workers); this shift towards commerce was also concentrated among women.
“The share of Nigerians deploying safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – including hand-washing and mask wearing – recovered in February 2021 compared to November 2020 following the second wave of COVID-19 cases in December 2020 and January 2021.