By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Nigeria’s unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2020 has hit 33.3 percent, with 23.2 million Nigerians jobless.
The figures were released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, on Monday.
According to the NBS, the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q4, 2020 was 122,049,400.
This is 4.3% higher than the figure recorded in Q2, 2020, which was 116,871,186.
It said 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 69,675,468.
“This was 13.22% less than the number persons in Q2, 2020. Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 20,091,695 or 28.8% of the labour force.
“The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q4, 2020 was 33.3%, an increase from the 27.1% recorded in Q2, 2020. The underemployment rate declined from 28.6% in Q2, 2020 to 22.8%.
“The unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 34.5%, up from 28.2% in Q2, 2020, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 31.3% up from 26.4%.
“In the case of underemployment among rural dwellers, it declined to 26.9% from 31.5%, while the rate among urban dwellers decreased to 16.2% from 23.2% in Q2, 2020,” the report said.
The report added that the total number of people in employment (i.e., people with jobs) during the reference period was 46,488,079.
“Of this number, 30,572,440 were full-time employed (i.e., worked 40+ hours per week), while 15,915,639 were under-employed (i.e., working between 20-29 hours per week).
“This figure is 20.6% less than the people in employment in Q2, 2020. For the period under review, Q4, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) was 42.5% up from 34.9%, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group declined to 21.0% from 28.2% in Q2, 2020.
“These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings,” it added.