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What the National Bureau of Statistics’ Report on Unemployment Rate in Nigeria Really Says

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), on Friday, August 14, released its unemployment methodology review after almost two years since its last release.

The report titled ‘Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report’, puts the number of unemployed Nigerians at 21.7 million, indicating an unemployment rate of 27.1% as against 23.1% recorded in Q3 2018.
The report states that:
  • 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 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 of 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 was dwellers, it rose to 31.5% from 22.8%, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2% from 58,527,276.
  • Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were underemployed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week). This figure is 15.8% less than the people in employment in Q3, 2020
  • The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q2, 2020 was 27.1%, up from the 23.1% recorded in Q3, 2018. 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.
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This means:

  • 13.9million Nigerian youth aged between 15 and 34 years are currently without jobs/underemployed, while 7.6 million of this subset ‘Did Nothing’.
  • About 12.2 million women are currently out of jobs and 27 million are currently unemployed.
  • Graduates and postgraduates combined made up about 2.9 million of the total Nigerians that are unemployed.
  • Out of the 35.5 million Nigerians that are fully employed, 28.8 million of them never attended school (6.29 million) or did not have a tertiary education (22.5).
  • In fact, 13.2 million fully employed people in Nigeria are those with Senior Secondary School certificates.
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Read the full report here.

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