Liberia: Over 50K Apply for NEC’s 6,700 Voter Registration Jobs
--- The scramble among Liberians for such a small job slot comes as Liberia's economically active population is expected to grow from 1.6 million in 2018 to nearly 2 million in 2023, without significant intervention in job creation, IMF data shows.
Liberia's dire unemployment problem has once again come to light, with over 50,000 Liberians scrambling for 6,700 job openings advertised by the National Elections Commission a few weeks ago.
The number of applicants, now nearly eight times more than what the electoral body needs, are seeking a short-term job for the conduct of the upcoming biometric voter registration process, which is expected to affect the 15 political subdivisions of the country.
But, with unemployment at an all-time high, a total of 50,992 Liberians would not sit back and pass up the chance, even though the Commission only needs 6,700 workers, posing a significant headache for the requirement process.
More than half of the applicants, according to the electoral body, are male — constituting 32,337 of all applicants.
“A merit-based selection is underway to shortlist the 6,700 workers for the biometric voters' registration exercise,” NEC said in a statement recently. “The Commission noted that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted for screening through a computer-based test before a final list for training is shortlisted.”
The scramble among Liberians for such a small jobs slot comes as Liberia's economically active populations are expected to grow from 1.6 million in 2018 to nearly 2 million in 2023, without significant intervention in job creation, IMF data shows.
Since 2019, according to World Bank data, Liberia's unemployment rate, which refers to the share of the labor force that is without work but available for and seeking employment, has been on the increase. In 2021, it stood at 4.10%, a 0.12% increase from 2020.
The Liberian unemployment crisis comes after the country's economy after contracting for two years has rebounded strongly with GDP growth expected to average 5.0 percent per year in the medium term.
But it appears that the growth is not impacting unemployment as more Liberians are now struggling to find employment opportunities in the country.
While Liberia has no reliable data on its labor force, Statista data shows that the unemployment rate in Liberia increased by 0.1 percentage points in 2021 in comparison to the previous year.
The unemployment rate in Liberia reached a peak in 2021 at 4.09 percent, according to Statista, which is the leading provider of market and consumer data in the world.
The unemployment rate refers to the share of the economically active population currently without work but in search of employment -- creating migratory pressure on the economy.
It explained that a combination of rising unemployment, booming demographics, and unfulfilled aspirations is increasing the pressure on young Liberians to migrate in search of gainful employment overseas.