Over 23 million Nigerians are jobless, unemployment rate now 33.3% ― NBS

A report published on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics has indicated that responsibility for feeding the 205 million estimated Nigerian population fell on only 46.4 million people at the end of 2020.

The Q4 2020 Unemployment Report, NBS explained that the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) between October and December 2020 was 122,049,400, which was 4.3 per cent higher than the figure recorded in Q2, 2020

However, the total number of persons in the labour force (i.e., people within the ages 15 – 64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 69,675,468.

“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.

“The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q4, 2020 was 33.3 per cent, an increase from the 27.1 per cent recorded in Q2, 2020. The underemployment rate declined from 28.6 per cent in Q2, 2020 to 22.8 per cent.”

During the reference period, the national unemployment rate rose from 27.1 per cent in Q2, 2020 to 33.3 per cent in Q4, 2020, while the underemployment rate decreased from 28.6 per cent to 22.8 per cent.

“A combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1 per cent.

“This means that 33.3 per cent of the labour force in Nigeria or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by our definition in Nigeria.

“This is an additional 1,422,772 persons from the number in that category in Q2, 2020. Using the international definition of unemployment, the rate was computed to be 17.5 per cent.”

According to the bureau, the unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 34.5 per cent, up from 28.2 per cent in Q2, 2020, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 31.3 per cent up from 26.4 per cent.

“In the case of underemployment among rural dwellers, it declined to 26.9 per cent from 31.5 per cent, while the rate among urban dwellers decreased to 16.2 per cent from 23.2 per cent in Q2, 2020.

“For the period under review, Q4, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15 -34years) was 42.5 per cent up from 34.9 per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group declined to 21.0 per cent from 28.2 per cent in Q2, 2020.”

Under state disaggregation, Imo State reported the highest rate of unemployment with 56.6 per cent, followed by Adamawa and Cross River states with 54.9 per cent and 53.7 per cent respectively.

The State with the lowest rate was Osun in the South-West with 11.7 per cent.

For underemployment, the state which recorded the highest rate was Benue with 43.5 per cent, while Lagos State recorded the lowest underemployment rate, with 4.5 per cent in Q4, 2020.


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Over 23 million Nigerians are jobless, unemployment rate now 33.3% ― NBS

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