Nigeria’s labour productivity rose 9.8 percent as at end Q4, 2016 , the second highest level since Q1, 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report released Thursday. The Q4 figures however fall short of the 12.2 percent recorded in the previous quarter.
The analysed data showed that labour productivity increased to N783.51 in Q4, 2016 from N713.77 in Q3, N636.30 in Q2, N605.27 in Q1 and N706.95 in Q4, 2015.
Thus, for the period under review, labour productivity increased by 9.8% on quarterly basis and 10.8% year on year. The estimated total number of hours worked increased by 0.48% between Q3 and Q4, 2016, and increased 1.9% between Q4, 2015 and Q4, 2016.
The NBS report indicated that the main drivers of the growth in labour productivity for the quarter was agriculture sector, which recorded a growth of 3.39%, the highest among any major economic activity. It stated that with parts of the fourth quarter being the harvest season in the Nigerian agricultural calendar, would have added to the growth in labour productivity in the review period.
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Other major activities that contributed to productivity during the quarter are transportation and the creative sectors of the economy, though both activities have relatively low weights compared to other activities like agriculture, but their strong growth during the period may have to do with the high number of labour they engaged.
Equally, power was relatively stable during the quarter, which partly accounted for the increase in labour productivity but was still lower than the required levels.
Labor productivity, a measure of economic growth within a country, specifically measures the amount of goods and services produced by one hour of labor. In other words, it measures the amount of real gross domestic product (GDP) produced by an hour of labor.
The report also indicated that Nigeria’s labour force of 81.15 million worked 148.28 million hours in 2016 and 37.39 million hours per quarter. Labour productivity for Q4 2016 is estimated at N783.51 per hour or $2.57, while GDP at current prices was estimated at N29.29 trillion for the review period.
However, for year 2016, total labour productivity fell to N684.4 per hour or $2.24.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Nigeria economy, though showing signs of recovery, recorded its 4th consecutive quarter of negative growth, with the economy declining by 1.58%. The constraints on productivity of labour and other factor inputs continue to put a drag on overall economic growth and this was further exacerbated in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Though there was a contraction in the economy in Q4 in real terms, which was accompanied by an increase in the unemployment rate, the growth in labour productivity in the quarter meant a gradual increase in labour efficiency employed in the economy, according to the report.
A growing unemployment rate of 14.2% in the 4th quarter, up from 13.9% in the 3rd quarter, coupled existing infrastructural challenges, remain considerable threats to realising Nigeria’s full economic and productivity potentials.