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Structural transformation and jobless growth in Nigeria


With unemployment and underemployment on the rise, Nigeria faces tremendous challenges in terms of sustainable job creation and productivity. In fact, the incidence of high unemployment has become a major socio-economic challenge over the past decade, despite strong economic growth.

In recent years, job creation and the quality of jobs have been marred by a slowdown in economic growth, and the recession. Latest available data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts Nigeria's unemployment rate at 18.8% as at Q3'17. Two years prior, this rate was 9.9%. Similarly, the underemployment rate reached the highest on record at 21.2%, from 17.4% over the same period.

Nigeria's population is projected to rise to 410 million by 2050 (2018E: 206 million) . With this population, the country will rank as the third largest populated country globally. As such, implementing policies that will deliver inclusive growth and engender a productive labour force is imperative.

This report, through an empirical approach, examines the socio-economic drivers of unemployment in Nigeria, analyses the sectoral employment trends, and highlights the drivers of productivity growth in the services sector.

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Andrew S. Nevin

Andrew S. Nevin

Partner & Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria

Tel: +234 1 271 1700

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