From official statistics, the rising unemployment rate in Nigeria has become a source of concern. The labor statistics report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, for instance, showed that between January and September 2017, about 4.07 million Nigerians became unemployed.
The bureau in the report stated that the number of Nigerians that became unemployed rose from 11.92 million in the first quarter of 2017 to 13.58 million and 15.99 million in the second and third quarters respectively, Punch reported.
It said that between the second quarter and third quarter, the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million to 111.1 million.
The report reads in part, “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.
“The unemployment rate increased from 14.2% in Q4 2016 to 16.2% in Q2 2017 and 18.8% 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% in the previous quarter to 40% in Q3 2017.”
It said that during the third quarter of 2017, 21.2% of women within the labor force that were between the ages of 15 years and 64 years and willing, able, and actively seeking work were unemployed, compared with 16.5% of men within the same period.
The NBS report said the increasing unemployment and underemployment rates implied that although the Nigerian economy is officially out of recession, domestic labor market is still fragile.
It added that economic growth in the past two quarters in 2017 had not been strong enough to provide employment in Nigeria’s domestic labor market.