Nigeria’s unemployment rate hits 14.2%, says National Bureau of Statistics


A report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has indicated that the number of unemployed Nigerians in the labour force increased by 35.1 million persons, resulting in an increase in the national unemployment rate to 14.2 per cent in Q4 2016. This slightly rose from 13.9 per cent in Q3,13.3 per cent in Q2, 12.1 per cent in Q1 2016 and 10.4 per cent in Q4 2015.

The NBS report titled, “Unemployment/Underemployment Report” released yesterday in Abuja showed that the economically active population or working age population  comprising persons within ages 15 and 64, increased from 108.03 million to 108.59 million representing about 0.5 per cent increase over the previous quarter and about 3.4 per cent increase when compared to the last quarter of 2015.

According to the bureau, during the 4th quarter of last year, the labour force population made up of those within the working age population willing, able and actively looking for work increased to 82 million from 80.67 million in the third quarter of 2016, representing an increase of 0.6 per cent in the labour force during the quarter.

According to the NBS report, the total number of persons in full time employment during the reference period decreased by 977,876 or 1.8 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, and decreased by 1.92 million or 3.5 per cent when compared to Q4 of 2015, making a total of 52.58 million persons in full time employment during the period under review.

Accordingly, there were a total of 28.58 million persons in the Nigerian labour force in Q4 2016, that were either unemployed or underemployed compared to 27.12 million in Q3, 26.06 million in Q2 and 24.5 million in Q1 2016.

According to the NBS, with an economically active population of 108.59 million and labour force population of 81.15 million, it means 27.44 million persons within the economically active or working age population decided not to work for one reason or the other, hence were not part of the labour force and cannot be considered unemployed during the period under review.