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Wage employment among men in Nigeria crashed by 39% in 11 years



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The percentage of men with wage or salary paying jobs have declined in 11 years, according to a brief on gender landscape in Nigeria by the World Bank.

A noteworthy decline of 39% (9.1%-points) characterizes the landscape of wage and salaried employment for men, with a sharp decrease from 23.2% in 2011 to 14.1% in 2022.

This trend not only highlights a significant move away from formal employment for men but also places Nigeria below the averages for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) at 25.9%, low middle income (LMC) at 34.9%, and the world at 51.3%.

Women, on the other hand, saw a slight increase in their engagement in wage and salaried work, edging up from 13.9% to 14.2%. While this uptick is marginal, it demonstrates resilience and potential for growth in women’s formal employment, despite the overall downward trend in male wage employment.

The agricultural sector also shows gender-specific shifts. Women’s employment in agriculture decreased from 32.3% in 2011 to 28.9% in 2022, suggesting a possible move towards other sectors or an exit from the labour force altogether. Men saw a decline from 47.9% to 44.9%, aligning with the broader transition in the Nigerian economy away from agriculture.

The labour force participation rates for both men and women in Nigeria have seen contrasting trajectories over the last eleven years. Men experienced an increase from 64.1% in 2011 to 65.8% in 2022.

In contrast, women’s participation experienced a decline, albeit modest, dropping from 56.8% to 52.0% within the same period. Despite this decrease, women’s participation remains above the Sub-Saharan African average, indicating a relatively higher engagement of Nigerian women in the labour market compared to their regional counterparts.