As the US reported just under 40 million job losses as a result of COVID19, I have often pondered what the data on job losses in Nigeria currently are.

My search led me to the results of a recent survey by the National Bureau of Statistics of 1,950 households. It estimated that 42% of Nigerians have lost their jobs due to COVID19.

While this shows us the devastating impact of COVID19, it’s sad to see nothing much in the media on the actual data in real numbers. More devastating that nothing much is being done by key stakeholders to tackle these economic woes. How can we improve something we cannot measure?

The layoffs began in earnest in March, layoffs will continue through July, and have not peaked. 

A new set of layoffs is expected, a second wave. While the first wave of layoffs were linked to the hospitality and blue collar jobs like factory workers, the second wave will tilt towards white collar jobs and more senior administrative roles. The service industries; like banks, manufacturing, those who tried to weather the first wave will be shaken this wave.

This week, I have received 2 calls to help with business layoffs and subsequent restructuring design. One of the firms is about to layoff 90% of its workforce. It will get worse before it gets better.

Good news is that recruitment requests have also picked up. I know this based on recent client requests and watching the increased number of job posts in my Facebook group, HR Nigeria. The numbers just a few days into June are already half of May’s total job posts. Firms are hiring again but more slowly.

So, a few things I see; we need Nigerian specific data to track and tackle COVID19 implications on unemployment. Layoffs will also continue for a few more months at least. 

Despite the set backs, hiring has picked up, though more slowly and with caution. 

Job seekers and career changers, it’s still a good time to reposition yourself. Learn new skills, and reinvent yourself for what’s coming as companies begin their recruitment efforts.

Entrepreneurs, there are a number of problems that need solving, this is a perfect opportunity to solve meaningful problems that birth new businesses.

Employers, perfect opportunity to reset, refocus and reposition your business for a stronger tomorrow.

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©Adora Ikwuemesi