Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 18.8% in Q3

  • Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 18.8% in Q3

Despite economic recovery and the surged in business activities in recent months, Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased in the third quarter as the economy failed to create enough jobs to support growing labour force.

The unemployment rate rose from 14.2 percent in the final quarter of 2016 to 16.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017, when the economy recovered from the recession, and plunged further in the third quarter of 2017 to 18.8 percent, according to the National Bureau of Statistics report published on Friday.

Also, while the participation rate, those either employed or actively looking for work, increased from 80.1 million people recorded in Q3 2016 to 85.1 million in the Q3 of 2017. New job creation slowed with full-time employment dropping from 52.6 million in Q4 2016 to 51.1 million in Q3 2017. Suggesting that population growth rate is outpacing the rate of job creation.

The total number of unemployed or underemployed people increased from 11.5 million in Q4 2016 to 16 million. While the combined underemployment and unemployment rate for the 25 to 34-year age group rose to 42.5 percent within the Q3 2017 from 39.6 percent in the Q2.

However, the combined unemployment and underemployment rate for the entire youth labour force (15-35 years) was 52.65 percent or 22.64 million (10.96 million unemployed and another 11.68 million underemployed), compared to 47.41 percent in Q4 2016.

“The rising youth unemployment is alarming and may further escalate crimes if not checked,” said Samed Olukoya, a foreign exchange research analyst at Investors King Ltd. “Nigeria’s population growth rate is presently 2.6 percent, meaning the rate of new job creation must at least be above 2.6 percent to offset the deficit and deepen economic growth going forward.”

But with the youth unemployment and underemployment rate at 52.65 percent of the working population, the recovery remained fragile and not broad-based as previously painted. Meaning, rebound in global oil price to about $60 a barrel has been aiding the economy. Therefore, any global uncertainty could plunge the economy back into recession, he added.

About the Author

Samed Olukoya
Samed Olukoya is the CEO/Founder of, a digital business media, with over 10 years experience as a foreign exchange research analyst and trader.

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