Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 33.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
The NBS stated in its report on ‘Labour force Statistics: Unemployment and underemployment report- Abridged labour force survey under COVID-19 (Q4, 2020) that this translated to 23.19 million unemployed people.
Part of the report read, “During the reference period, the computed 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.”
The NBS report said that unemployment rate was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15-24 with 53.4 per cent and 25-34 with 37.0 per cent, which represents the youth population in Nigeria.
It also noted that unemployment and underemployment was higher for women than men in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The report said, “Female unemployment was highest among the genders with 35.2 per cent while male was 31.8 per cent during the reference period.
“A similar case was recorded for underemployment, 24.2 per cent was reported for females, while males reported an under-employment rate of 21.8 per cent.”
In the case of unemployment by state, Imo State recorded the highest rate of unemployment with 56.64 per cent.
This was followed by Adamawa with 54.89 per cent and Cross Rivers State with 53.65 per cent.
The states with the lowest rates were Osun, Benue and Zamfara States with 11.65 per cent, 11.98 per cent and 12.99 per cent respectively.
When considered by educational status, those reporting A ‘levels as their highest qualification had the highest rate of unemployment with 50.7 per cent, followed by those with first degree/HND at 40.1 per cent.
Those with Doctorate degrees as their highest qualifications reported the lowest rate of unemployment, 16.9 per cent during the reference period. The unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 34.5 per cent, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 31.3 per cent.
In the case of underemployment, rural dwellers reported a rate of 26.9 per cent, while the rate among urban dwellers was 16.2 per cent.