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…Ranks 41st in the world

…As Imo tops states with 56.64%

By Emmanuel Elebeke


The Nigeria unemployment rate rose from 27.1% in Q2, 2020 to 33.3% in Q4, 2020.

In its quarterly unemployment and underemployment report released on Monday, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS said during the reference period, the computed national unemployment rate rose from 27.1% in Q2, 2020 to 33.3% in Q4, 2020, while the underemployment rate decreased from 28.6% to 22.8%.

The report indicates that a combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate for the reference period gave a figure of 56.1%.


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This means that 33.3% of the labour force in Nigeria (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%.

When considered by educational status, those reporting A ‘levels as their highest qualification had the highest rate of unemployment with 50.7%, followed by those with first degree/HND at 40.1%.

Those with Doctorate Degrees as their highest qualifications reported the lowest rate of unemployment, 16.9% during the reference period.

Under the age-groupings, the highest rate of unemployment was recorded among the 15-24-year age-group with 53.4%, followed by those aged between 25-34 with 37.0%, together the youth population recorded an unemployment rate of 42.5%.

In the case of underemployment by age grouping, those aged between 55-64 recorded an underemployment rate of 25.7%, the highest amongst the age groups.

This was followed by those aged between 45-54 with 24.4%, while those with the lowest underemployment rate were those aged between 15-24 with 19.8%.

A combination of unemployment and underemployment rates shows that those aged between 15-24 reported a combined rate of 73.2%, showing a serious challenge for the age-group in secure full-time employment.

Female unemployment was highest among the genders with 35.2% while male was 31.8% during the reference period.

 A similar case was recorded for underemployment, 24.2% was reported for females, while males reported an under-employment rate of 21.8%.

The unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 34.5%, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 31.3%. In the case of underemployment, rural dwellers reported a rate of 26.9%, while the rate among urban dwellers was 16.2%.

Unemployment and Underemployment by State

In the case of unemployment by state, Imo State recorded the highest rate of unemployment with 56.64%.

This was followed by Adamawa with 54.89% and Cross Rivers State with 53.65%.

The States with the lowest rates were Osun, Benue and Zamfara States with 11.65%, 11.98% and 12.99% respectively.

In the case of underemployment, Benue State recorded the highest rate with 43.52%, followed by Zamfara and Jigawa States with 41.73% and 41.29% respectively.

Combining both unemployment and underemployment, the state that recorded the highest rate was Imo with 82.5% followed by Jigawa with 80%.

 Ogun and Sokoto states recorded the lowest of the combined rates, 26.2% and 33.7% respectively.

International Unemployment Rate

In comparison with other countries across the world, using the International Labour Organisation’s standard of 1-hour work per week, Nigeria’s recent unemployment rate is 11.7%.

Comparing this rate internationally, out of 181 countries with rate published within the last 2 years, Nigeria currently ranks as the 41st country with the highest unemployment rate.

The countries with the highest unemployment rates presently are Bosnia and Herzegovinian (34.3%), Namibia (33.4%), and Angola (32.0%), while those with the lowest rates are Qatar (0.1%), Belarus (0.2%), Niger (0.3%) and Laos (0.6%).

Vanguard News Nigeria 


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