The unemployment rate in Nigeria rose from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 33.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, says the National Bureau of Statistics.
The statistics office disclosed this in its ‘Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report (Q4 202)’ released on Monday.
In the reference quarter, however, the underemployment rate decreased to 22.8 per cent from 28.6 per cent in Q2.
While the unemployment rate rose by 6.2 per cent, the underemployment rate declined by 5.8 per cent.
A further analysis showed that a combination of both the unemployment and underemployment rate gave a figure of 56.1 per cent.
It indicated that 33.3 per cent of the labour force in the country or 23,187,389 persons either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours a week, making them unemployed by the country’s definition.
Imo State reported the highest rate of unemployment with 56.6 per cent, followed by Adamawa and Cross River states with 54.9 per cent and 53.7 per cent, respectively, while Osun state recorded the lowest rate in the South-West with 11.7 per cent.
Benue State recorded the highest rate with 43.5 per cent in underemployment rate, while Lagos State recorded the lowest, with 4.5 per cent in Q4 2020.
The data further disclosed that the number of persons in the working age population, that is between 15 – 64 years of age, during the reference period of the survey, was 122,049,400, or 4.3 per cent higher than 116,871,186 recorded in Q2, 2020.
Reacting to the latest development, a Nigerian politician, Reno Omokri, said on his Twitter handle, “In 2015, Nigeria’s unemployment rate was eight per cent according to the NBS and General @MBuhari said it was unacceptable. Today, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is 33.3 per cent. Is Mr Buhari now satisfied? Has any area of life in Nigeria improved under Buhari?”
On his part, a tax expert, Mr Taiwo Oyedele, tweeted, “We need urgent actions to reverse the trend.”
A researcher, Chief Bode Ayo, said, “The increase in the unemployment rate figures can be attributed to the after-effect of the COVID-19-induced lockdown, which caused my organisations to reduce their work force as a means to cope amidst the pandemic.”
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