The National Bureau of Statistics, in its latest report, has disclosed that 21.7 million Nigerians are now unemployed.
The NBS ‘Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report’, released on Friday,
said the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 20.93 in 2018 to 21.76 million in the second quarter of 2020.
The development means that more than 17 million Nigerians became unemployed since December 2014.
The figure represents a 27.1 per cent rise in the unemployment rate by the second quarter of 2020, from 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
The report further disclosed that the underemployment rate increased from 20.1 per cent in 2018 to 28.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.
According to the report, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) increased to 34.9 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in the third quarter of 2018.
The unemployment and underemployment rates among young people between 15-34 years was the highest when compared to other age groupings.
The NBS, in the report, explained that the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased to 116,871,186 in the second quarter of 2020, from 115,492,969 in the third quarter of 2018.
The report said, “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 80,291,894. This was 11.3 per cent less than the number 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 NBS said the total number of people in employment in the second quarter of 2020 dropped by 15.8 per cent to 58,527,276, compared to the number recorded in the third quarter of 2018.
“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),” the NBS said.
The NBS report disclosed that Imo State recorded the highest rate of unemployment with 48.7 per cent, followed by Akwa-Ibom State and Rivers State with 45.2 per cent and 43.7 per cent, respectively.
Anambra recorded the lowest rate of unemployment at 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.
The report noted that a total number of 2,736,076 persons did not do any work in the last seven days preceding the survey due to the lockdown but had secure jobs to return to after the lockdown.