21.77m Nigerians now jobless as unemployment rate rises to 27.1%

The number of unemployed Nigerians rose to 21.77 million in the second quarter of this year (Q2 2020), compared to 20.93 million in Q3 2018, according to figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), yesterday.

The data on the nation’s unemployment rate released after a 20-month interval, also showed that the country’s unemployment rate increased to 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of the year (Q2 2020), compared to 23.1 per cent recorded in Q3 2018.

The NBS noted that the figure represented an increase of 836,969 persons who were without jobs when compared to Q3 2018.

However, unemployment rate is estimated at 11.7 per cent, using the international definition.

The number of people with jobs stood at 58.52 million, while 22.94 million people were engaged in time-related jobs or underemployed, as well as 35.59 million persons who had full-time employment.

The working age population is estimated at 112.39 million with an active labour force of 80.29 million, while 32.10 million people are not currently in the labour force.

According to the Labour Force Statistics’ “Abridged Labour Force Survey Under COVID-19” report, which was released yesterday by the statistical agency, underemployment rate increased to 28.6 per cent from 20.1 per cent in Q3 2018.

The NBS pointed out that unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) was 34.9 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in Q3, 2018.

It added that unemployment rate among rural dwellers increased to 28 per cent compared to 23.9 per cent in Q3 2018, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 25.4 per cent up from 21.2 per cent.

Underemployment among rural dwellers, further rose to 31.5 per cent from 22.8 per cent, and for urban dwellers, it increased to 23.2 per cent from 13.7 per cent in Q3, 2018.

According to the statistical agency, the labour force, which is the number of people who are able and willing to work (within the ages of 15-64) increased to about 80.29 million, compared to 90.5 million in Q3, 2018, representing 11.3 per cent decline.

However, those within the age bracket of 25-34 represented the highest number in the labour force accounting for 23.32 million or 29.1 per cent of the work force.

In addition, 32.09 million of the population were said to be out of the labour force currently.

It added that the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) also rose by 1.2 per cent to 116.87 million from 115.5million in Q3, 2018.

The NBS, however, cautioned that “a rise in the unemployment rate is not entirely equivalent to an increase in job losses. Rather, an increase in unemployment can occur as a result of several reasons, of which loss of an existing job is just one. A rise in unemployment generally means the number of people searching for jobs has increased.

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