Minister of Labour Ngige: Unemployment rate goes up

The COVID-19 pandemic worsened Nigeria’s unemployment situation, according to new figures by the National Bureau of Statistics.

According to NBS, the unemployment rate during second quarter, when Nigeria was in shutdown, rose from 23.1 percent in 2018 to 27.1% this year.

The underemployment rate increased from 20.1% in Q3, 2018 to 28.6%.

For the period under review, Q2, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 34.9%, up from 29.7%, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2% from 25.7% in Q3, 2018.

“These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings”, NBS said.

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NBS also said the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q2, 2020 was 116,871,186.

The figure recorded in Q3, 2018, was 115,492,969.

The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894. This was 11.3% less than the number persons in Q3, 2018. Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23,328,460 or 29.1% of the labour force.

The total number of people in employment (i.e. people with jobs) during the reference period rose to 31.5% from 22.8%, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2% from 58,527,276.

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Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were under-employed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week).

This figure is 15.8% less than the people in employment in Q2, 2020, NBS reported.