Nigeria generated nearly half a million job in the first quarter of 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics said Thursday in its new report.The report said between January and March, 469,070 jobs were created in all sectors of the economy.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan was office during the period covered by the report.
The former government triggered controversy after it claimed to have created 1.2 million jobs in 2013.
Many Nigerians rejected that claim, citing the scale of poverty and unemployment in the country.
Critics challenged the government to provide details of new jobs, and to explain why the huge number rate of employment had an insignificant impact on the job market.
In May, the bureau of statistics announced a revised protocol for calculating unemployment rate, concluding that the percentage of unemployed Nigerians stood at about six per cent, against the previous 23.9 per cent.
The new figure was also widely rejected.
The National Bureau of Statistics said its assessment shows 469,070 jobs were created in the economy during the first quarter, with the informal sector yielding 332,403 new jobs as the most active.
Total jobs created for the period, the report said, increased by 99,585 (about 26.95%) over 369,485 jobs in the 4th quarter of 2014.
In the formal sector, the report said about 130,941 new jobs were created, representing about 27.92% of total jobs created during the period under review.
The figure declined by 7,085 (about 5.13%) when compared to the 138,026 new jobs recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The figure was, however, about 72.3% higher than the number of jobs created in the same period in 2014.
The public sector of the economy, the report showed, added about 1,339 (about 30.5%) jobs, making a total of 5,726 new jobs, or 1.2% of the total jobs created during the period.
The informal sector jobs, the report said, increased by about 46.39%, from a total of about 227,072 in the 4th quarter of 2014.
The increase in informal sector jobs, which consisted those generated by individuals or businesses employing less than 10 persons, or businesses operating with little or no structures in agriculture and wholesale and retail trades, the report said, was attributed to the sharp increase in numerous informal economic activities that took place during the election period.
During the survey, conducted late April and May 2015, due to the April general elections, the NBS said new jobs by cadre showed that Managerial, Professional and Technical Workers grew the most, from 32,974 employees in 4th quarter of 2014 to 47,921, representing a growth of 14,947 employees, or 45.32% during the period under review.
A total of 4,312 formal sector establishments were covered, including proprietors, private limited liability companies, and cooperatives.
“The growth made the Managerial, Professional and Technical workers cadre the most dominant with the largest number of jobs created, representing 36.6% of the total,” the report said.
Closely followed was the Operative cadre, with 43,616 new jobs, or 33.31%, followed by the Clerical and related office workers cadres getting 19,895 employees, or 15.19% of the total.
The survey showed under jobs by economic activity, the Education Sector led the employment figures during the period, with 58,329 jobs, or 44.55% of the total, reflecting a 6.58% marginal rise, or 3,600 jobs, when compared with the 54,729 jobs recorded in the fourth quarter of 2014.
The Manufacturing Sector was next, with 19,647 jobs, or 15% of the total, although it showed a marginal drop of 37.43%, or 11,754 jobs when compared with the figure in the fourth quarter of 2014, while the Trade sector created 15,206 new jobs, or 11.61% of the total jobs.
The Electricity, Gas, Steam and Air Conditioning Sector recoded the lowest number of new jobs – only six during the period.
The bureau said the proliferation of job recruitment companies in the country was a strong indication of the significant availability of job opportunities in the Nigerian economy.
It said in spite of the slowdown in economic growth during the period, jobs were being created in all the sectors of the economy.
The statistics agency buttressed its assertion with the increased banking activities as a result of the opening of new bank branches and expansion of international and local wholesale and retail trading operations, accommodation and food services, including large supermarkets and hotels.
“One of the growing business activities that have been identified lately is the rise in the number of recruitment companies in the country,” the NBS said. “This is a strong indication of the significant availability of jobs in the economy that needs to be filled up.”