Saturday, December 23, 2017 08:00
AM / Proshare
From the Editor’s Desk
The National Bureau of Statisticsmade available data for the duo of inflation for the month of November and labour productivity figures for the 3rd quarter of 2017 in the previous week. The avalanche of such data provides an understanding on the health of the nation’s labour force and further shed light on the existing price dynamics. Concurrently, when the two indicators are fused together (unemployment and inflation) they provide another medium to measure the health of the nation, apart from output.
Let’s begin with price stability, head inflation shaved minutely from 15.91% in the month of October to 15.9% in November. Regardless the minute shave left inflation largely numb as the magnitude of change is largely insignificantly. Thus inflation ended up flat as it chose to travel stiffer sideways.
Fig 1: Inflation from Jan to Nov 2017
Source: NBS, Trading Economics
Obviously, headline inflation has been traveling sideways for some time, as it underlines a new scenario whereby disinflation is becoming harder to come by as we move on. Even though one could argue that the gradual recoil in core inflation is seasonally driven. “Well, while you must always provide a room for one bad cop (food inflation), the possibility of having another bad cop (core inflation) for some time eventually makes them two bad cops, and this could be irritating as it threatens ex-ante with regards to inflation”.
In a follow up at the tail end of the week, Unemployment and Underemployment figures were made available. Unemployment at the end of the Q3 2017 rose to 18.8%, from 16.2% and 14.4% in Q2 and Q1 2017. In the same vein, underemployment also from 21.1% to 21.2%
Fig 2: Unemployment and Underemployment at the end of Q3 2017
Unemployment and underemployment at the end of the Q3 2017 increased across all states, underlying the weakness in the health of labour productivity in the nation. At the same time the high rate of underemployment, attest to low quality jobs matched with weak wages. This further validates our position that even though output has improved, hysteresis will linger for some time given the earlier dent on productive activity. These developments have led to a further buffering in our misery index to 34.7; obviously the economic crux is reversing the earlier dent on the human index. Polices which are far reaching beyond output but more forth coming on per capital income and improving the economic mobility of the nation have become a priority. Thus addressing economic issues is extremely urgent at this point.
On Thursday, December 28, 2017, the National Bureau of Statisticswill release its Volume II of the Q1-Q3 2017 Labour Force Statistics focusing on Employment in various sectors.
Multiverse Mining & Exploration Plc will also hold its Annual General Meeting today in Lagos.
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Labour Force Statistics Vol 1: Unemployment & Underemployment Report