The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday said the share of Nigerians who worked in February, this year dipped by two per cent from 72 per cent last September.
This is contained in the data entitled: COVID-19 impact monitoring February 2021, which noted that the share of Nigerians who were working last February was close to 70 per cent.
The data showed that the share of Nigerians who worked in February 2021 was only slightly lower than the share who worked last September, and higher than the share working in January/February 2019.
NBS recalled that in previous years, the share of people working fell significantly between the post-planting season (from July to September) and the post-harvest season (from January to March).
The document stated: “Yet, in February 2021, 70 per cent of working-age Nigerians (those aged 15-64 ) were working, only a little below the share (72 per cent) observed in September 2020, and higher than the share observed in January/February 2019 (64 per cent).”
According to the data, the share of people who worked last February was similar in urban and rural areas.
NBS noted that the share of those working in February 2021 was higher than the pre- pandemic period because households reinforced their labour supply to meet up with the adverse effects of the pandemic.
The data explained: “The fact that the share of Nigerians working in February 2021 is higher than what was observed before the pandemic may be due to “an added worker” effect where households boost their overall labor supply to cope with negative economic shocks”.
The document reads in part: “The share of working-age Nigerians who were working in February 2021 (70 per cent) was only slightly lower than the share observed in September 2020 (72 per cent), and much higher than the share observed in January/February 2019 (64 per cent); this heightened labor supply was driven especially by women.
“The share of workers engaged in commerce was higher in February 2021 (37 per cent of workers) than in September 2020 (26 per cent of workers) and in January/ February 2019 (27 per cent of workers); this shift towards commerce was also concentrated among women.
“The share of Nigerians deploying safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – including hand-washing and mask wearing –recovered in February 2021 compared to November 2020, following the second wave of COVID-19 cases in December 2020 and January 2021.
“Around 65 per cent of respondents reported being “very worried” about themselves or an immediate family member becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, with concerns being more widespread amongst respondents in lower consumption quintiles.
Some 83 per cent of respondents reported that they would agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19, with respondents in lower consumption quintiles being the most willing to be vaccinated, although overall willingness to be vaccinated declined slightly; messaging around vaccines and monitoring their uptake will be crucial for supporting efforts to immunise Nigeria’s population”.