According to a new report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s unemployment rate increased from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 33.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of the same year.

Underemployment was reported to be 22.8 per cent in Q4 2020 (28.6 per cent in Q2 2020), with the sum of unemployment and underemployment estimated to be 40 per cent in Q4 2020 (35.2 per cent in Q2 2020).

The report states that:

  • During the survey’s reference time, Q4, 2020, the number of people in the economically active or working age demographic (15-64 years old) was 122,049,400. This is up 4.3 per cent from the 116,871,186 in Q2 2020.
  • The labour force (people aged 15 to 64 who are able and willing to work) was projected to be 69,675,468. This was down 13.22% from the second quarter of 2020. With 20,091,695 people or 28.8% of the workforce, those aged 25 to 34 were the most numerous.
  • During the comparison time, the overall number of people at work (i.e., people with jobs) was 46,488,079. 30,572,440 were full-time employees (working 40 hours or more a week), while 15,915,639 were underemployed (i.e., working between 20-29 hours per week). This statistic is 20.6 per cent lower than the number of workers working in the second quarter of 2020.
  • The unemployment rate was 33.3 per cent during the comparison period, Q4, 2020, up from 27.1 per cent in Q2, 2020. Underemployment dropped from 28.6 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 to 22.8 per cent.
  • Rural unemployment rose to 34.5 per cent from 28.2 per cent in Q2, 2020, while urban unemployment rose to 31.3 per cent from 26.4 per cent. Underemployment among rural residents dropped to 26.9 per cent from 31.5 per cent in Q2, 2020, although it fell to 16.2 per cent from 23.2 per cent.
  • The unemployment rate for young people (15-34 years old) was 42.5 per cent in Q4, 2020, up from 34.9 per cent in Q2, 2020, while the rate of underemployment for the same age group dropped to 21.0 per cent from 28.2 per cent in Q2, 2020. When compared to other age groups, these ratios were the largest.
  • Imo State had the highest unemployment rate of 56.6 per cent, led by Adamawa and Cross River States with 54.9 and 53.7 per cent, respectively. With 11.7 per cent, Osun in the South-West had the lowest average.
  • Benue had the highest rate of underemployment at 43.5 per cent, while Lagos had the lowest rate at 4.5 per cent in Q4 2020.
  • In the seven days before the poll, a total of 12,160,178 people were not working.

Read the full report here.

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