- Unemployment Rises to 13.9 Percent
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the country’s unemployment rate has risen from 13.3 per cent in the second quarter to 13.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2016.
This is according to the Unemployment/Under-employment Report for 3rd Quarter of 2016, released by the NBS on Friday in Abuja.
The report stated that the number of unemployed in the labour force increased by 555,311 persons.
According to the report, the underemployment rate rose from 19.3 per cent in second quarter to 19.7 per cent in the third quarter.
The report stated that unemployment covered persons (aged 15–64) who, during the reference period, were currently available for work, actively seeking for work but were without work.
Underemployment, however, occurs when a person works less than full time hours, which is 40 hours, but work at least 20 hours on average a week.
It explained that underemployment could also happen if a person works full time but are engaged in an activity that underutilises his skills, time and educational qualifications.
The report, however, stated that the economically active population or working age population (persons within ages 15 and 64) increased from 106.69 million in second quarter to 108.03 million in the third quarter.
“This represents a 1.26 per cent increase over the previous quarter and a 3.57 per cent increase when compared to the third quarter 2015.’’
In 3rd quarter, the labour force population (i.e those within the working age population willing, able and actively looking for work) increased to 80.67 million from 79.9 million in second quarter.
“This represents an increase of 0.98 per cent in the labour force during the quarter.
“This means about 782,886 persons from the economically active population entered the labour force, that is individuals that were able, willing and actively looking for work.
“This magnitude of increase between second and third quarter is smaller when compared to first and second quarter, which was an increase of 1.39 million in the labour force population.
“Within the reference period, the total number of persons in full time employment (who did any form of work for at least 40 hours) decreased by 272,499 or 0.51 per cent.
“This figure decreased when compared to the previous quarter, and decreased by 1.66 million or 3.01 per cent when compared to third quarter of 2015.’’
The report stated that with an economically active or working age population (108.03 million) and labour force population (80.67 million), 27.36million persons within the economically active or working age population decided not to work.
It said that the population decided not to work for one reason or the other in the third quarter, hence they were not part of the labour force and could not be considered unemployed.
According to the report, there is eight consecutive rise in the unemployment rate since 4th quarter of 2014.
Gold Gained Ahead of Joe Biden Inauguration 2021
Gold price rose from one and a half month low on Tuesday ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
The precious metal, largely regarded as a haven asset by investors, edged up by 0.2 percent to $1,844.52 per ounce on Tuesday, up from $1,802.61 on Monday.
He said, “The key factor appears to be the (U.S.) currency.”
As expected, a change in administration comes with the change in economic policies, especially taking into consideration the peculiarities of the present situation. In fact, even though Biden, Janet Yellen and the rest of the new cabinet are expected to go all out on additional stimulus with the support of Democrats controlled Houses, economic uncertainties with rising COVID-19 cases and slow vaccine distribution remained a huge concern.
Also, the effectiveness of the vaccines can not be ascertained until wider rollout.
Still, which policy would be halted or sustained by the incoming administration remained a concern that has forced many investors to once again flee other assets for Gold ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration.
Crude Oil Holds Steady Above $55 Per Barrel on Tuesday
Brent Crude oil, against which Nigerian crude oil is priced, rose from $54.46 per barrel on Monday to $55.27 per barrel as of 9:03 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
Last week, Brent crude oil rose to 11 months high of $57.38 per barrel before pulling back on rising COVID-19 cases and lockdowns in key global economies like the United Kingdom, Euro-Area, China, etc.
While OPEC has left 2021 oil demand unchanged and President-elect Joe Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, experts are saying the rising number of new cases of COVID-19 amid poor vaccine distribution could drag on growth and demand for oil in 2021.
On Friday, Dan Yergin, vice-chairman at IHS Markit, said in addition to the stimulus package “There are two other things that are going with it … one is of course, vaccinations — in the sense that eventually this crisis is going to end, and maybe by the spring, lockdowns will be over.”
“The other thing is what Saudi Arabia did. This is the third time Saudi Arabia has made a sudden change in policy in less than a year, and this one was to announce (the) 1 million barrel a day cut — partly because they are worried about the impact of the surge in virus that’s occurring,” he said.
Also, the stimulus being injected into the United States economy could spur huge Shale production and disrupt OPEC and allies’ efforts at balancing the global oil market in 2021.
Crude Oil Pulled Back Despite Joe Biden Stimulus
Crude oil pulled back on Friday despite the $1.9 trillion stimulus package announced by U.S President-elect, Joe Biden.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria’s oil is priced, pulled back from $57.38 per barrel on Wednesday to $55.52 per barrel on Friday in spite of the huge stimulus package announced on Thursday.
On Thursday, OPEC, in its latest outlook for the year, said uncertainties remain high in 2021 with the number of COVID-19 new cases on the rise.
OPEC said, “Uncertainties remain high going forward with the main downside risks being issues related to COVID-19 containment measures and the impact of the pandemic on consumer behavior.”
“These will also include how many countries are adapting lockdown measures, and for how long. At the same time, quicker vaccination plans and a recovery in consumer confidence provide some upside optimism.”
Governments across Europe have announced tighter and longer coronavirus lockdowns, with vaccinations not expected to have a significant impact for the next few months.
“The complex remains in pause mode, a development that should not be surprising given the magnitude of the oil price gains that have been developing for some 2-1/2 months,” Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said.
Still, OPEC left its crude oil projections unchanged for the year. The oil cartel expected global oil demand to increase by 5.9 million barrels per day year on year to an average of 95.9 million per day in 2020.
But also OPEC expects a recent rally and stimulus to boost U.S. Shale crude oil production in the year, a projection Investors King experts expect to hurt OPEC strategy in 2021.
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