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NBS Data: 55.7% of Nigeria’s working population jobless, underemployed



unemployment, underemployment, NBS

…Underemployment at 28.6%, highest since 2014 Q4

…Only 35.59m have gainful jobs

…Unemployed youth now spike at 34.9%

…Imo State leading unemployment with 75.1%

For the first time since December 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Friday released its Labour Force Statistics report showing the nation’s worsening job conditions and the need for government to urgently create more employment opportunities for the masses and reduce socio-economic tension.

According to the report (Abridged Labour Force Survey Under COVID-19), which forewarned that the rate increase does not amount entirely to an increase in job losses, but may occur due to reasons like new entrants into the labour markets like students, an estimated 55.7 per cent of Nigeria’s total labour force of about 80.291 million as at 2020Q2, down from 90.5 million in 2018Q3, are either unemployed or underemployed.

A breakdown of the figure shows that underemployment was worse at 28.6 per cent, the highest level since 2014Q4, up from 20.1 per cent in 2018Q3 (it was 16.6 per cent in 2015Q1); while unemployment rate climbed to 27.1 per cent from 23.1 per cent in 2018Q3.

By international comparison, according to the NBS, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is worse than Kosovo’s 25.9 per cent; but better than South Africa, 30.1 per cent; Angola, 32 per cent; Namibia, 33.4 per cent; and 34.3 per cent, in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

In specific terms, people with full-time jobs or working 40 hours and more in a week stood at 35.585 million, while 22.942 million were underemployed at between 20 and 29 hours per week, representing 15.8 per cent less than those unemployed in 2018Q3.

Unemployment rate among rural dwellers stood at 28 per cent from 23.9 per cent; while urban unemployment stood at 25.4 per cent from 21.2 per cent; while under-employment in this category of the populace stood at 31.5 per cent, a leap from 22.8 per cent in 2018; at a time when urban dweller recorded 23.2 per cent rate, up from 13.7 per cent.

Is Nigeria's unemployment rate 18.8%, as widely tweeted?

Massive turnout for a recruitment exercise by a government agency ready to employ just few candidates

A further breakdown showed that unemployment among young people (15-34 years) rose from 29.7 per cent to 34.9 per cent; and under-employment for the same category from 25.7 per cent to 28.2 per cent, rates the NBS wrote: “were the highest when compared to other age groupings.”

Breakdown the rates across states, the NBS said unemployment rate was at its peak in Imo which recorded 48.7 per cent of its working population; followed by Akwa-Ibom, 45.2 per cent and Rivers, 43.7 per cent; and was at its lowest rate of 13.1 per cent in Anambra State. Others were Kwara, 13.8 per cent and Sokoto, 13.9 per cent.

Under-employment was highest in Bauchi with 43.7 per cent; followed by Yobe and Adamawa with 38.4 per cent each; just as Anambra also reported the lowest of 17 per cent within the period.

A combination of unemployment and underemployment rate by states showed that Imo continued to lead with 75.1 per cent; Kaduna, 72.8 per cent; even as Kwara and Oyo recorded the lowest of 34.2 per cent and 34.5 per cent respectively.

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