Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 from the 23.1 per cent recorded in Q3 2018, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBC) said on Friday.
According to the Bureau, more than 17 million people, representing over 78% of Nigeria’s unemployed population of 21.76 million people, became unemployed between 2014 and 2020.
The statistics office similarly observed that the total working age population had increased by nearly 17 million in those six years.
The Labour Force Statistics report issued on Thursday noted that the unemployment figure rose from 20.93 million in 2018 to 21.76 million in the second quarter of this year.
For the first time in the history of the revised NBS unemployment report, the number of people in the labour force willing to work fell, dropping by at least 10 million.
“A rise in the unemployment rate is not entirely equivalent to an increase in job losses. Rather, an increase in unemployment can occur as a result of several reasons, of which loss of an existing job is just one,” the NBS said.
It noted that unemployment could rise due to “people previously outside the labour force (e.g students, housewives, etc)” deciding to join.
PwC had projected that unemployment rate in Nigeria would escalate from 23.1% in 2018 to 35% in 2020 – but the NBS said the current unemployment rate was 27.1 per cent.
The report disclosed that unemployment is prevalent within the age group 25 to 34, where more than seven million persons are unemployed.
The report is the first labour force data report to be issued in Nigeria since 2018.
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