President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Nigeria records increase in job-seekers during pandemic crisis

*We have about 10,000 active jobseekers a week, says Jobberman’s CEO

* Information Technology (IT), telecoms among top hiring sectors ─Report

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

Subsequent to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease in the country March 2020, the number of people seeking employment opportunities through Nigeria’s biggest recruiting Web site has jumped five-fold.

The development is said to have highlighted the struggle faced by many in Africa’s largest economy.

Hilda Kragha, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jobberman, in an interview with Bloomberg in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, said: “Typically, we have about 10,000 active jobseekers a week.

“During this pandemic, we have been having over 55,000, which means more people are looking for jobs.”

According to report, the data from Jobberman, which recruits mainly white-collar employees and doesn’t track those looking for non-skilled, blue-collar work, chimes with official estimates that see unemployment in the nation of more than 200 million, soaring to 34% by the end of the year from 23% in 2019.

While there was a 40% drop in recruitment in March when the first two weeks after movement restrictions were imposed, applications per vacancy on the online platform have jumped by 183% this year, report stated.

As numbers of application per job posting has increased than previous years, and Nigeria’s economy set to contract 5.4% this year, according to International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates, IT and telecommunication firms are topping Jobberman’s hiring charts as Nigerian companies, like others worldwide, adapt to an at-home workforce. Similarly, the hospitality, tourism, travel, aviation, entertainment and oil and gas industries have fallen to the bottom, whereas IT and Telecoms lead hiring as COVID-19 changed companies’ work pattern.

Firms are said to be 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% of those already offered jobs through the platform have been put on hold by their potential employers.

According to CEO of Jobberman, which is a local unit of Ringier One Africa Media Group, the company has over 2 million registered job seekers on its platform, and has placed 16,000 jobseekers in roles in the past three months.

As applicable in several other economies around the world, Nigeria has been hit hard economically after implementing lockdowns to contain the spread of Coronavirus.

Africa’s top oil producer is 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, report said.

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