Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Increases To 5% – NBS

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Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased from 4.2% in the previous quarter to 5.0% in the third quarter of 2023, according to the most recent Labour Force Survey, which was released on Monday.

The percentage of a country’s working-age population that is employed is measured by its labor force participation rate.

Those who are actively employed and at least 15 years old are considered to be in the working age population. The total number of people who are working and unemployed is known as the labor force.

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the percentage of people in working age who were not in the labor force decreased to 79.5% in Q3 from 81.4% in Q2.

As per the updated approach of the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Africa’s biggest economy, with more than 200 million people, fell from 5.3 percent in Q4 2022 to 4.1 percent in Q1 2023.

The report read, “The unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent. This is an increase of 0.8 per cent from Q2 2023. In Q3 2023, the labour force participation rate in Nigeria was 79.5%, having been 80.4% in Q2 2023. The participation rate among men was 80.9% and 78.2% for women. Persons living in rural areas are more likely to participate in labour activities than urban dwellers.

“The employment-to-population ratio was 75.6 per cent in Q3 with a decrease of 1.5 per cent compared to a ratio of Q2. The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 from 15.5 per cent in Q2,” the report said.

It said about 87.3 per cent of workers were self-employed in Q3 and that the proportion of workers in Wage Employment in Q3 was 12.7 per cent.

“The rate of unemployment among persons with post-secondary education was 7.8 per cent in Q3. The unemployment rate among youth aged (15-24 years) was 8.6 per cent in Q3. Increase of 1.4 per cent compared to Q2.”

According to the statistical agency, the unemployment rate in urban areas was 6.0 per cent in Q3, a slight increase of 0.1 per cent from Q2.

“Time-related underemployment in Q3 was 12.3 per cent, showing a slight increase of 0.5 per cent from the rate recorded in Q2. This shows an increase of 1.4 per cent compared to the rate in Q4. 4.1 per cent of the working-age population was in subsistence agriculture in Q3.”

“Informal employment rate in Q3 was 92.3 per cent, while Q2 2023 was 92.7 per cent. Percentage of youth Not in Employment, Education or Training was 13.7 per cent in Q3,” it added.

In Q3 2023, the proportion of employed individuals engaged in informal work decreased to 92.3%, down by 0.4% from the previous quarter’s 92.7%. Notably, women exhibit a substantially higher rate of informal employment compared to men.

The NBS, since it started using the new methodology, has come under heavy criticism.

When it released its ‘4.1 per cent’ unemployment figure for Q1, 2023, the Nigerian Labour Congress, through its National Secretary-General, stated that the figures were not reflective of the current realities in the country.

“The statistic is not reliable. It is as simple as that. It is not in sync with what is on the ground. We all know that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is increasing.”

Before the new report, Global audit and tax advisory firm, KPMG, had projected that Nigeria’s unemployment rate is expected to rise to 40.6 per cent as compared to 2022’s 37.7% per cent.

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