2020Q2: 55.7% Of Nigeria’s Working Population Jobless, Underemployed- NBS

Imo Has Combined 75.1% Rate, Kwara’s 34.2% Lowest

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% of Nigeria’s total labour force of about 80.291m as at 2020Q2, down from 90.5m in 2018Q3, are either unemployed or underemployed.

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

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

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

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

A further breakdown showed that unemployment among young people (15-34 years) rose from 29.7% to 34.9%; and under-employment for the same category from 25.7% to 28.2%, 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% of its working population; followed by Akwa-Ibom, 45.2% and Rivers, 43.7%; and was at its lowest rate of 13.1% in Anambra State. Others were Kwara, 13.8% and Sokoto, 13.9%

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

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