Nigeria's unemployment rate jumps to 23.1 percent
Nigeria's unemployment rate has been rising steadily since 2014, up from 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 18.8 percent in the third quarter of 2017.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported that Nigeria's unemployment rate increased from 18.8 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2017 to 23.1 percent in Q3 2018. According to the data released by the statistics agency on Wednesday, the total number of unemployed people in Nigeria increased from 17.6 million in Q4 of 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 of 2018.
The NBS classifies people who are unemployed as those who did nothing at all or worked too few hours (under 20 hours a week) during the reference period. Thus, the rate of unemployment is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed persons by the labour force.
Nigeria's unemployment rate has been rising steadily since 2014. The unemployment rate, which was 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, increased to 8.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015. It further rose to 8.9 percent in Q2 2015, then accelerated to 9.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015.
The country’s economically active or working-age population – those between ages 15 and 64 – increased from 111.1 million people in Q3 2017 to 115.5 million in Q3 2018, while the number of people in the labour force – people who are able and willing to work – increased to 90.5 million in Q3 2018 compared with the 85.1 million recorded in the same quarter in 2017.
In Q3 2018, the total number of people in employment marginally rose to 69.54 million, compared with the 69.09 million in Q3 2017. Of the 69.54 million people with jobs, only 51.3 million people are in full-time employment, while 18.2 million people are in part-time employment.
Cumulatively, the number of people within the labour force who are unemployed and underemployed stood at 39.1 million in the period under review. This represents an unemployment and underemployment rates increase from 40 percent in Q3 2017 to 43.3 percent in Q3 2018.
Last month, the NBS had faced public criticism for not releasing the nation’s quarterly unemployment data. The Statistician-General of Nigeria, Yemi Kale, said the report could not be completed due to lack of funding.
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