According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) total of 7.956 million Nigerians became unemployed between January 2016 and September 30, 2017.
This unemployment report survey for the third quarter of 2017 released by the NBS on December 22, 2017 puts the number at 7.956 million more than the 8,036 million it stood in 2015 Q4. The bureau in the report stated that the number of Nigerians that became unemployed rose from 8,036 million in 2015 fourth quarter to 15.998 million in third quarter of 2017.
The report said further that between the second quarter and third quarter of 2017, the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million to 111.1 million.
“The unemployment rate increased from 14.2 per cent in Q4 2016 to 16.2 per cent in Q2 2017 and 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017. The number of people within the labor force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017. Total unemployment and underemployment combined increased from 37.2 per cent in the previous quarter to 40 per cent in Q3 2017. The labor force population increased from 83.9 million in Q2 2017 to 85.1 million in Q3 2017. The total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) declined from 52.7 million in Q2 2017 to 51.1 million in Q3 2017.”
NBS in the report blames the increasing unemployment and underemployment rates on Nigeria’s fragile economy despite the exit from recession. The report explained that domestic labor market is still fragile and economic growths in the past two quarters in 2017 have not been strong enough to provide employment in Nigeria’s domestic labor market.
“An economic recession is consistent with an increase in unemployment as jobs are lost and new jobs creation is stalled. A return to economic growth provides an impetus to employment. However, employment growth may lag, and unemployment rates worsen especially at the end of a recession and for many months after,” the report said.
During the third quarter of 2017, according to the report, 21.2 percent of women within the labour force (aged 15-64 and willing, able, and actively seeking work) were unemployed, compared to 16.5 percent of men within the same period.
The report also noted that underemployment was predominant in the rural areas as 26.9 percent of rural residents within the labour force in were underemployed compared to 9 percent of urban residents within the same period.