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NBS: Unemployment rate rises to 27.1 % Q2, 2020

…says Imo, Akwa Ibom recorded highest unemployment rate

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) yesterday confirmed that Nigeria’s unemployment rate now stood at 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the 23.1 per cent recorded in Q3, 2018. The underemployment rate increased from 20.1 per cent in Q3, 2018 to 28.6 per cent, which, according to the NBS, is the latest labour force statistics.

Giving age related categories in relation to employment, under employment and unemployment, NBS disclosed in its latest report that the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 to 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q2, 2020 was 116,871,186. The NBS added: “The number of persons in the labour force (i.e. people within ages 15 to 64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894. This was 11.3 per cent less than the number of persons in Q3, 2018.

Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23,328,460 or 29.1 per cent of the labour force. “The total number of people in employment (i.e. people with jobs) during the reference period, rural dwellers, rose to 31.5 per cent from 22.8 per cent, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2 per cent from 58,527,276.

“Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed (i.e. worked 40+ hours per week), while 22,942,003 were under-employed (i.e. working between 20-29 hours per week). This figure is 15.8 per cent less than the people in employment in Q3, 2020.

“The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q2, 2020, was 27.1%, up from the 23.1% recorded in Q3, 2018. The underemployment rate increased from 20.1% in Q3, 2018 to 28.6%.” For the period under review, Q2, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) was 34.9%, up from 29.7%, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2% from 25.7% in Q3, 2018. These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings. NBS also explained the unemployment and underemployment of states.

During the period under review, Imo State recorded the highest rate of unemployment, with 48.7%. This was followed by Akwa Ibom, with 45.2 per cent and Rivers State with 43.7 per cent. The states with the lowest rates were Anambra, Kwara and Sokoto, with 13.1 percent, 13.8 per cent and 13.9 per cent respectively.

In the case of underemployment, Bauchi State recorded the highest rate with 43 per cent, followed by Yobe and Adamawa, both with 38.4 per cent each. Combining both unemployment and underemployment, the state that recorded the highest rate was Imo with 75.1% followed by Kaduna with 72.8%. Kwara and Oyo states recorded the lowest of the combined rates, 34.2% and 34.5% respectively. During COVID -19 pandemic lockdown, NBS said it findings showed there were number of persons with jobs but who did not work because of the pandemic. The NBS stressed that: “The results from this question show that an estimated 2,736,076 persons or 3.4% of the labour force did not work during the period but have secured jobs to return to after the COVID-19 lockdown.

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