Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1per cent in the second quarter of 2020, according to recent statistics released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics. This rate represents an increase of four per cent from 23.1per cent rate recorded in the third quarter of 2018.

Recall that the last time the bureau released unemployment figures for the country was sometime in 2018.

The 2018 report indicated that the country’s unemployment rate increased from 18.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 to 23.1 per cent in the comparative period of 2018, which showed an increase of 4.3 per cent

Details of the figures show that the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 111.1 million in Q3 2017 to 115.5million in Q3 2018.

This is partly believed to be one of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the dwindling oil revenues, which negatively affected most sectors of the nation’s economy.

These developments, according to analysts affected employment generation as companies introduced several cost cutting measures to remain in business, among which was job cuts.

A breakdown of the figures showed 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 was 116,871,186. This is 1.2per cent higher than the figure recorded in the third quarter of 2018, which was 115,492,969.

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, a figure 11.3per centless than the number persons in Q3, 2018.

Out of the 58,527,276 people in employment bracket (i.e. people with jobs) during the period under review, 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).

According to the NBS, the underemployment rate increased from 20.1per cent in Q3 2018, to 28.6per cent in the review period.

The unemployment rate among rural dwellers was put at 28%, up from 23.9% in Q3 2018, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 25.4per cent, up from 21.2per cent. The NBS noted further that in the case of underemployment among rural dwellers, it rose to 31.5per cent from 22.8per cent, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2per cent from 13.7per cent in Q3, 2018.

The report also showed that the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 34.9per cent up from 29.7per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2per cent from 25.7per cent in Q3, 2018.

These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings, the report showed.

In terms of state disaggregation, Imo reported the highest rate of unemployment with 48.7per cent followed by Akwa-Ibom State and Rivers State with 45.2per cent and 43.7per cent respectively. The State with the lowest rate was Anambra in the South-East with 13.1per cent

The NBS added that a total number of 2,736,076 did not do any work in the last seven days preceding the survey due to the lockdown, occasioned by coronavirus, but had secure jobs to return to after the lockdown.