The number of unemployed Nigerians rose by 3.3 million to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018 (Q3’18), a report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
The NBS in its Labour Force Statistics -volume 1: Unemployment and underemployment report for Q3’18, indicated that year-on-year (YoY) the rate of unemployment rose by 3.3 million or 19 percent to 20.9 million in Q3’18 from 17.6 million in Q3’17, while on quarterly basis, it rose by three percent from 20.3 million in Q2’18.
The report showed that unemployed and under-employed female population far outpaced that of the men folk.
Expectedly, the rate of job losses in the rural areas also far outpaced that of the urban centers with the rate of unemployment in the rural center increasing by 7.5 percent, while there was a 2.2 percent decrease in unemployment in the urban center respectively.
According to the report, “The unemployment rate accordingly, increased from 18.8 percent in Q3’17 to 23.1 percent in Q3’18. The total number of people classified as unemployed, which means they did nothing at all or worked too few hours (under 20 hours a week) to be classified as employed increased from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018.
“Of the 20.9 million persons classified as unemployed as at Q3’18, 11.1 million did some form of work but for too few hours a week (under 20 hours) to be officially classified as employed, while 9.7 million did absolutely nothing.
“Of the 9.7 million unemployed that did absolutely nothing as at Q3 2018, 90.1 percent of them or 8.77 million were reported to be unemployed and doing nothing because they were first time job seekers and have never worked before.
“On the other hand, 0.9 percent of the 9.7 million that were unemployed and doing nothing at all reported they were unemployed and did nothing at all because they were previously employed but lost their jobs at some point in the past which is why they were unemployed.
“Total combined unemployment and underemployment rates increased from 40.0 percent in Q3 2017 to 43.3 percent in Q3, 2018”.
“Unemployment rate in Nigeria has been on the increase since the economic crisis in 2014. The unemployment rate based on NBS’s revised methodology were calculated to be 23.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018. Underemployment, however, has been gradually declining over the past four quarters, with then rate in Q3 was reported as 20.1 percent.
“The increasing unemployment and declining underemployment rates imply that the fragile economic recovery is beginning to create employment. However, hours worked within these jobs are not yet enough for full time employment (40+ hours within the week). While this is on-going, the inflow of entrants into the labour market continues to grow steadily, minimizing the effect of any jobs created within the economy on the overall unemployment rate”.