Over 20.9m Nigerians unemployed, reports NBS
The National Bureau of Statistics NBS has said that the number of unemployed Nigerians increased by 3.3 million to hit 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
A report by the bureau in its Labour Force Statistics –volume 1: Unemployment and underemployment report for third quarter indicated that year-on-year, the rate of unemployment rose by 3.3 million or 19 per cent to 20.9 million in third quarter 2018 from 17.6 million in third quarter 2017, while on quarterly basis, it rose by three per cent from 20.3 million in second quarter 2018. The report also 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 per cent, while there was a 2.2 per cent decrease in unemployment in the urban center respectively.
No money for unemployment report – Statistician-General Unemployment level: The report stated: “The unemployment rate accordingly, increased from 18.8 per cent in third quarter 2017 to 23.1 per cent in third quarter 2018. 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 fourth quarter of 2017 to 20.9 million in third quarter of 2018. “Of the 20.9 million persons classified as unemployed as at third quarter of 2018, 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 third quarter 2018, 90.1 per cent 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.
“The Gross Domestic GDP growth to sustain upward trajectory into fourth quarter of 2018, first quarter of 2019 “On the other hand, 0.9 per cent 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 per cent in third quarter of 2017 to 43.3 per cent in third quarter of 2018”. According to the bureau, “Unemployment rate in Nigeria has been on the increase since the economic crisis in 2014.
The unemployment rate based on bureau’s revised methodology was calculated to be 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018. Underemployment, however, has been gradually declining over the past four quarters, with then rate in third quarter was reported as 20.1 per cent. It stated: “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, minimising the effect of any jobs created within the economy on the overall unemployment rate”.
Unemployed women versus men: The report further showed that 26.6 per cent of women within the labour force (aged 16-64 and willing, able, and actively seeking work) were unemployed, 6.3 per cent higher than the unemployment rate for men (20.3%), and 3.5 per cent higher than the total labour force unemployment rate, which is 23.1 per cent. The report said: “For women, this also represents a 5.4 per centage point increase in the unemployment rate from the same period of last year. Additionally, 25.9 per cent of women in the labour force were underemployed, a 4.1 percentage point increase in underemployment for women from the previous year. “In the same period, 20.3 per cent of men in the labour force (aged 16-64 and willing, able, and actively seeking work) were unemployed. This figure is 3.8 percentage points higher than the same period last year and 2.8 percentage points lower than the total labour force unemployment rate. Additionally, 15.4 per cent of men in the labour force were underemployed, a 5.1 percentage point decline in underemployment rate for men over the same period last year.”
Unemployment by dwelling (urban vs rural)
Also, the unemployment rate between urban and rural regions within the quarter under review maintained a similar pattern to that of the general labour force unemployment rate. It showed that in third quarter of 2018, 23.9 per cent of rural and 21.2 per cent of urban dwellers within the labour force were unemployed. This represented a 7.5 percentage point increase in unemployment rate for rural dwellers over the same period in 2017, and a 2.2 percentage point decrease in unemployment rate for urban dwellers over the last year. Thus, unemployment increased in the rural areas, while it decreased among urban dwellers during the review period, the bureau said.
Rate of employment: However, rate of employment, the report noted, increased by four per cent to 115.5 million in third quarter of 2018 from 111.1 million in third quarter of 2017. The report stated: “The economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 111.1 million in third quarter of 2017 to 115.5million in third quarter of 2018. “ The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people who are able and willing to work increased from 75.94 million in third quarter of 2015 to 80.66 million in third quarter of 2016 to 85.1 million in third quarter of 2017 to 90.5million in third quarter of 2018.