The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has disclosed that the number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 11.19 million as at the end of the third quarter of 2016 to 11.55 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.
In a report released on Monday night, the bureau stated that the unemployment rate increased from 13.9 per cent to 14.2 per cent within the same period.
It explained that the unemployment rate was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15‐24 and 25‐34, which represents the youth population in Nigeria.
NBS cited an instance by stating that the unemployment rate was highest for those within the ages of 15 to 24 rising from 25 per cent to 25.2 per cent.
For those in the 25 to 34 age group, the unemployment rate was said to have risen from 15 per cent to 15.4 per cent.
The NBS noted that unemployment and underemployment was higher for women than men in the fourth quarter of 2016, disclosing that while12.3 per cent of males were unemployed, 17.9 per cent of males in the labour force were under-employed.
For instance, it said 16.3 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed as at the end of the fourth quarter of 2016.
On the other hand, the unemployment and under-employment rates were said to be higher for women than men in the fourth quarter of 2016.
During the quarter, 16.3 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed, and a further 24.2 per cent of women in the labour force were under-employed.
It said, “The economically active population increased from 108.03 million to 108.59 million, this represents a 0.5 percent increase over the previous quarter and a 3.4 per cent increase when compared to fourth quarter 2015.”
Meanwhile, the total number of persons in full time employment 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 fourth quarter of 2015.
The number of underemployed in the labour force (those working but doing menial jobs not commensurate with their qualifications or those not engaged in fulltime work) increased by 1,109,551 or 7.0 per cent, resulting in an increase in the under-employment rate from 19.7 per cent (15.9 million persons) in third quarter 2016 to 21.0 per cent (17.03 million persons) in fourth quarter of 2016.
Similarly, in the fourth quarter of 2016, there were a total of 28.58 million persons in the Nigerian labour force that were either unemployed or under-employed compared to 27.12 million in the third quarter, 26.06 million in second quarter and 24.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.