The National Bureau of Statistics has finally released data on the nation’s unemployment rate after a 20-month interval, saying the 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 NBS, in its ‘Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report’ released on Friday, said underemployment rate increased from 20.1 per cent in Q3 2018 to 28.6 per cent in Q2 2020.
It said, “For the period under review, Q2 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15-34 years) was 34.9 per cent, up from 29.7 per cent, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2 per cent from 25.7 per cent in Q3 2018.
“These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings.”
The NBS said the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased to 116,871,186 from 115,492,969 in Q3 2018.
It 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 statistics office said the total number of people in employment in Q2 2020 fell by 15.8 per cent 58,527,276, compared to Q3 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),” it added.
According to the report by employment law firm based in San Francisco, Imo State reported 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.
It said Anambra recorded the lowest rate of unemployment at 13.1 per cent.
The NBS said, “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.
“A total number of 2,736,076 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.”