According to the survey
outcomes, more than half of the total workers in Nigeria (51.06 million or
65.84% of total) worked full-time, or 40 hours per week. Among all the
full-time workers, 18.86 million or 24.31% of total workers were engaged in
self-employment farming/agriculture, 15.02 million or 19.36 of total were
self-employed in non-farming/agriculture work, and 14.10 million or 25.42% of
total are working for pay/wage. 23.25% and 10.91% of total workers were
participating in 20-39 hours work per week and 1-19 hours work per week
Distribution by Economic Sector
by Economic Sector and Working Hours
The labor market in
Nigeria was dominated by the Agriculture sector, followed by Trade, Other
Services, Manufacturing, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
These five sectors attract 83.40% of the total workers in Nigeria, equivalent
to 64.67 million workers. Likewise, these five sectors also employed the
majority of full-time workers (82.12% or total full-time workers and 41.93
million in absolute number).
Until the third quarter of
2017, 48.19% of total workers in Nigeria were engaged in agricultural work, in
which 29.59% of total workers worked full-time (40 hours per week), 12.13%
worked 20-39 hours per week and 6.46% worked less than 20 hours per week.
Trade, Other Services, and Manufacturing, and Professional, Scientific and
Technical Services accounted for 13.97% (10.85 million), 7.89% (6.12 million),
6.89% (5.41 million), and 6.37% (4.94 million) of total working poulation
Sectoral Employment vs. GDP composition
In 2017 Q3, 48.19% of
employment were found in Agricultural sector, followed by 44.67% in Services.
Only 7.14% of total workers were working in Industries. (Note this
includes those working at least an hour a week)
In order to examine which
sector was labor intensive by providing more shares of employment than the
corresponding shares of production (GDP), the scatter plot below shows the
distributions of share of employment and share of nominal GDP (2017 Q3) of
different economic sectors. The grey reference line indicates positions where a
sector’s share of employment equals its share of nominal GDP in 2017 Q3.
As the graph shows,
sectors including Agricultural, Other Services, Professional, Scientific and
Technical Services, Education, Transportation and Storage, Human Health and
Social Services, Accommodation and Food Services, Arts Entertainment Creation
and Administrative & Supportive Services had higher shares of employment
than their shares of nominal GDP in 2017 Q3. Therefore, these sectors stated
above can be considered relatively more labor- intensive than other sectors.
Two other leading economic
sectors in Nigeria, Trade and Manufacturing, contributed to 17.96% and 8.55% of
the third quarter’s nominal GDP and provided 13.97% and 9.98% of total
employment. Sectors including Mining and Quarrying, Information and
Communication, and Real Estate contributed to sizable shares of nominal GDP (11.17%,
8.69%, and 7.52% respectively) in 2017 Q3 while they only provided limited
employment (0.17%, 0.55%, and 0.09% respectively).
Gender in Employment
Employment by Gender and Working Hour
by Gender and Type of Engagement
Male and female
employments were similarly distributed across different types of work. Most
female and male workers were engaged in farming/agriculture work and were
self-employed, followed by non-farming/agriculture self-employment, and work
However, a larger
percentage of male workers were engaged in self-employed farming/agriculture
than female, and a larger percentage of female workers were engaged in
self-employed non-farming/agriculture work compared with the percentage of male
engaged the same type of work.
Similar percentages of
male and female are working for pay/wage although the absolute number of male
workers are much higher than the number of female workers in this work
by Gender and Economic Sector
Most economic sectors
including Agriculture, Other Services, Manufacturing, Professional, Scientific
and Technical Services, Transportation and Storage, and Construction employed
more male workers than female workers. Specifically, more than half of the male
workers (55.03% or 27.13 million) and 36.24% of female workers (10.24 million)
were engaged in agricultural activities. Construction sector was completely
dominated by male workers, with 1.70 male workers and only 0.41 million female
workers registered in the third quarter. The bar graph below shows the
percentages of females and males in different working sectors.
The following color table
presents numbers of females and males working at different sectors
(disaggregated by working hours). Male and female workers show similar patterns
of hour disaggregation in different economic sectors as most sectors employ
more full-time workers than 20-39 hours workers and 1-19 hours workers.
Education in Employment
Employment by Education and Working Hour
Workers with no formal education, primary
& below primary education, secondary education and postgraduate education
accounted for 29.77%, 20.19%, 34.06% and 15.98% of the total working force.
Most workers in each educational group were performing full-time work.
However, a much larger
percentage of workers with postgraduate education are engaged in full- time
jobs (72.64% in this educational group) than the proportions of workers in
other educational groups who are engaged in full-time jobs. In fact, there is
almost a positive relationship between the level of education workers had and
the number of hours they work per week, or how likely they are working
The table below shows the
percentage of workers working for different number of hours per week in each
Employment by Education and Work Type
Workers with different
levels of educational background showed different preferences on the type of
work they are performing in 2017 Q3. There appears to be a negative
relationship between levels of education and the percentage of workers (within
the sub-educational group) who were engaged in self-employed
farming/agriculture work, and a positive relationship between levels of
education and the percentage of workers within the sub-educational group who
were working for pay/wage.
More than half of the
workers (58.05% or 13.40 million) with no formal education were engaged in
self-employed farming/agriculture work, and 21. 70% of those without formal
education were self-employed in non-farming/agriculture work. Only 10.16% of
workers without educational background were working for pay/wage. In contrast,
only 18.21% of the total workers (2.26 million) who have post-secondary
education were self-employed and working in farming/agriculture/agriculture.
More than 6.7 million
workers with post-secondary education were working for pay/wage which accounted
for 54.50% of the workers with post-secondary education. Quite differently,
only 29.03% of workers with secondary education, 13.92% of those with primary
and below-primary education, and 10.16% of those without formal education were
working for pay/wage.
Workers with secondary
education showed the highest percentage of whom self-employed in
non-farming/agriculture activities (34.58% or 9.13 million), followed by
workers with primary or below-primary education (30.49% or 4.77 million) and
workers with post-secondary education (22.10% or 2.74%). Workers with no formal
education presented the lowest percentage who are self-employed in
non-farming/agriculture sectors (21.70% or 5.01 million).
Employment by Education and Economic
Workers with different
levels of education also showed distinct economic sector distributions. Workers
with less education were more likely to work in agricultural sector.
Specifically, 72.18% of workers without formal education (16.67 million) were
engaged in agricultural work. This sector attracted 53.41% of workers with
primary and below-primary education (8.36 million) and 36.09% of workers with
secondary education (9.53 million). Only 22.65% of workers with post-secondary
education were working in agricultural sector.
Likewise, workers with secondary
education were also active in manufacturing sector, professional, scientific
and technical services and other services. Specifically, 2.41 million workers
with secondary education found employment in manufacturing, accounting for
9.13% of those with this specific educational level; 2.09 million workers with
secondary education found employment in professional, scientific and technical
services, accounting for 7.92% of those with this specific educational level;
2.43 million workers with secondary education found employment in other
services, accounting for 9.21% of those with this specific educational level.