Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 23.1% in Q3

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  • Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Jumps to 23.1% in Q3

The high unemployment rate in Nigeria has taken a new turn in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 despite efforts by the current administration to enhance job creation and deepen growth.

The number of economically active people (between age 15-64) rose from 111.1 million in Q3 of 2017 to 115.5 million in Q3, 2018, according to a Labour Force Statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday.

The total number of people in the labour force, those who are able and willing to work, increased from 75.94 million in Q3 2015 to 80.66 in Q3 2016; 85.1 million in Q3 2017 and 90.5 million in Q3, 2018.

The total number of people with jobs rose from 68.4 million in Q3 2015, to 68.72 million in Q3 2016, to 69.09 million in Q3 2017 and 69.54 million in Q3 2018.

While the number of people in full-time employment, those working at least 40 hours a week, climbed from 51.1 million in the same quarter of 2017 to 51.3 million in Q3 2018.

The total number of people in part-time employment or underemployment, which decreased from 13.20 million in Q3 2015 to 11.19 million in Q3 2016, increased from 18,02 million filed in Q3 of 2017 to 18.21 million in the third quarter of 2018.

The total number of unemployed persons, those that did nothing at all or worked less than 20 hours a week rose from 17.6 million recorded in Q4 of 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018.

However, out of the 20.9 million classified as unemployed, the NBS said 11.1 million of the number did some form of work but with far too few hours to be officially tagged employed. The remaining 9.7 million did nothing as 8.8 million of that number were first-time job seekers that have never worked before.

Therefore, putting the national unemployment rate at 23.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, up from the 18.8 percent filed in Q3 2017.

Again, the combined number of unemployment and underemployment rates rose to 43.3 per cent in the quarter, a 3.3 per cent increase when compared to 40 per cent of Q3, 2017.

The youths unemployment rate declined slightly from 30.50 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 to 29.7 per cent in the third quarter. Still, higher than the 25.5 per cent filed in Q3, 2017. Youths underemployment stood at 25.7 per cent in Q3, 2018.

The combined number of youths either unemployed or underemployed rose to 55.4 per cent in the quarter, higher than the 52.6 per cent from the same period of 2017. Another indication of rising youth unemployment and underemployment when compared to the national combined rate of 43.3 per cent.

Despite six consecutive quarters of economic growth, Nigeria has failed to enhance new job creation and sustained old ones. A substantial number of the 9.7 million unemployed Nigerians said they were previously employed but lost their jobs due to harsh economic condition.

The economy grew at 1.81 per cent in the third quarter but that has failed to translate to job security or new job creation, not even numerous capital projects were able to absorb enough workers to ease growing unemployment rate.

Rising unemployment rate, falling forex reserves, high-interest rates, and weak consumer confidence in the economy are some of the factors impacting growth in recent months, and with the global oil price trading at $58 a barrel, far below the $86 attained in October, Nigeria may struggle even more in 2019 if global economy continued to slow amid protectionism.

President Buhari earlier today presented the 2019 proposed budget of N8.8 trillion to the joint session of the senate and house of representative. Again, funding remained a concern as national debt as already risen to over $73 billion.

About the Author

Samed Olukoya
CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade long experience in the global financial market. Contact Samed on Twitter: @sameolukoya; Email: [email protected]

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