This is despite the slight increase in vacancies to 14,112 compared with 14,005 in the third quarter of 2015.
The reports indicated that in July, there were 86,643 applications, which rose to 93,164 in August, before falling to 86,990 in September. This implied a total of 266,797 applications during the quarter compared to 213,922, 287,547, and 313,694 in the same three months of 2015, a total of 815,163.
From the report, the top five most popular industries to receive the most number of applications accounted for over 70 per cent of total applications: Trade/Services received the largest number of applications with 40.7 per cent applications, a slight increase relative to the same quarter of the previous year, when the industry accounted for 40.2 per cent of applications.
Also, in July and August over half of all applications were made to the Trade/Services and Consulting industries, although this fell to just under half, 48 per cent in September. In July, August and September, this industry received 35,596, 39,261 and 33,690 applications respectively, which is equivalent to 41.1 per cent, 42.1 per cent and 38.7 per cent of the total number of applications in each month.
In July and August, Consulting was the industry to attract the second largest number of applications, and accounted for 15,102 in July, and 11,939 in August, or 17.4 per cent and 12.8 per cent respectively. However, there was a drop in the number of Consulting applications in September to 8,867; 10.2 per cent of the total.
However, there was a simultaneous increase in ICT/Telecommunications applications, which led to the latter industry being the second most popular for applications in the month. Nevertheless, consulting accounted for the second largest number of applications in the quarter and accounted for 35,908; 13.5 per cent of the total.
Also, by location, Lagos recorded the highest number of active applicants with 41,839 equivalent to 56.4 per cent; an increase from the proportion of 53.7 per cent in the previous period, followed by Abuja with 7,624; 10.3 per cent of the total.
The proportion of applicants who were based outside of Nigeria also remained similar, at 4.3 per cent, compared to 4.4 per cent in the period considered in the previous period. Yobe, Jigawa and Zamfara were the three states to account for the smallest number of active applicants, with each state accounting for less than 0.1 per cent of the total.