Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 33.3% in Q4-2020
Dr. Yemi Kale, NBS Chief

Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 33.3% in Q4-2020

Nigeria’s unemployment rate has jumped to 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) noted in its Labour force report.

It was noted that unemployment rate surged by 6.2 percentage points to 33.3% in in Q4-2020 from 27.1% in Q2-2020.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Statistics indicated that underemployment rate declined to 22.8% from 28.6% within the same period.

Data showed that number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q4, 2020 was 122,049,400.

“This is 4.3% higher than the figure recorded in Q2, 2020, which was 116,871,186”, the Bureau stated.

The number of persons in the labour force – that is, people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work – was estimated to be 69,675,468.

However, NBS stated that this was 13.22% less than the number persons in Q2, 2020.

Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 20,091,695 or 28.8% of the labour force.

The total number of people in employment during the reference period was 46,488,079.

Of this number, 30,572,440 were full-time employed, that is those that worked 40+ hours per week, while 15,915,639 were under-employed – working between 20-29 hours per week.

The Bureau indicates that this figure is 20.6% less than the people in employment in Q2, 2020.

“The unemployment rate during the reference period, Q4, 2020 was 33.3%, an increase from the 27.1% recorded in Q2, 2020.

“The underemployment rate declined from 28.6% in Q2, 2020 to 22.8%.

“The unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 34.5%, up from 28.2% in Q2, 2020, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 31.3% up from 26.4%”, NBS explained.

In the case of underemployment among rural dwellers, NBS said it declined to 26.9% from 31.5%, while the rate among urban dwellers decreased to 16.2% from 23.2% in Q2, 2020.

For the period under review, Q4, 2020, the unemployment rate among young people (15- 34years) was 42.5% up from 34.9%.

Meanwhile the rate of underemployment for the same age group declined to 21.0% from 28.2% in Q2, 2020.

“These rates were the highest when compared to other age groupings”.

Under State disaggregation, Imo State reported the highest rate of unemployment with 56.6%, this was followed Adamawa and Cross River States with 54.9% and 53.7% respectively.

The State with the lowest rate was Osun in the South-West with 11.7%.

For underemployment, the state which recorded the highest rate was Benue with 43.5%, while Lagos State recorded the lowest underemployment rate, with 4.5% in Q4, 2020.

NBS said a total number of 12,160,178 did not do any work in the last 7 days preceding the survey

Distribution of Working Age Population

The results of the survey indicate that the estimated number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q4, 2020 was 122,049,400.

This is 4.3% higher than the figure recorded in Q2, 2020, which was 116,871,186. Of this number, females represent 50.49%, while males account for 49.5%.

Further disaggregation by age group shows that the 30.2% of the total active population is within the ages of 15-24, the highest among the age groupings.

The age-group with the smallest active population is 55-64, with 10,221,108 or 8.37% of the total active population.

‘Unemployment Rate Data Downplays Labour Market Condition’

Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 33.3% in Q4-2020