By Adedapo Adesanya
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that 27.1 per cent of Nigerians were without jobs during the coronavirus-induced lockdown months in the second quarter of the year.
The data would be the first released after almost two years when the country’s unemployment numbers stood at 23.1 per cent, signifying a 4 per cent rise in unemployment within the period.
In a report published on Friday titled Labour Force Statistics: Abridged Labour Force Survey Under COVID-19, the national statistics body noted that based on a survey, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34years) was 34.9 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent.
It added that the rate of underemployment (working between 20-29 hours per week) for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in Q3, 2018, noting that these rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.
It found out that the underemployment rate increased from 20.1 per cent in Q3, 2018 to 28.6 per cent. Combined with the unemployment, it means 55.7 per cent of the country’s labour force was either unemployed or underemployed in the period under review.
By states, Imo State reported the highest rate of unemployment with 48.7 per cent while the lowest rate was Anambra also in the South-East with 13.1 per cent.
For underemployment, the state which recorded the highest rate was Zamfara with 43.7 per cent, while Anambra State recorded the lowest underemployment rate, with 17 per cent in Q2 2020.
As a whole, the number of persons in the economically active or working-age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period stood at 116.9 million. This is 1.2 per cent higher than the figure recorded in Q3, 2018, which was 115.5 million.
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 80.3 million, this was 11.3 per cent lesser than the number persons as of Q3, 2018.
The bureau indicated that of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 23.3 million Nigerians equivalent to 29.1 per cent of the labour force.
The total number of people in employment (i.e. people with jobs) during the reference period was dwellers which rose to 31.5 per cent in that period from the comparative 22.8 per cent.
The rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2 per cent from 58.5 million. A breakdown shows that 35.6 million were full-time employed (worked 40+ hours per week), while 22.9 million were under-employed
Comparatively, this figure is 15.8 per cent lesser than the people in employment in as the third quarter of 2018.
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