According to The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in 2016 3.67 million Nigerians lost their jobs. The number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 7.51 million at the beginning of October 2015 to 11.19 million at the end of Septem ber 2016.
Unemployment statistics and indices are measure of productivity within an economy, with high unemployment indicating reduction in spending and less cash flow within the economy. Rise in employment rates also affects other areas, such as quality of health services and living standards.
A breakdown of the 3.67 million unemployed Nigerians showed that about 522,000 people became jobless during Q4 2015; while 1.44 million more people joined the labour force in Q1 2016.
Further analysis of the NBS unemployment report for Q2, Q3 2016, showed that about 1.16 million and 550,000 people respectively entered the labour market in search of jobs.
The NBS report also showed that the rate of unemployment was highest for persons between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34, which represent the ‘youth’ population in Nigeria.
According to the report:
“The unemployment rate in the urban areas was 18.3 per cent compared to 11.8 per cent in the rural areas, as the preference is more for formal white-collar jobs, which are located mostly in urban centres”
Unemployment rate was highest for those within the age group of 15 to 24 rising from 17.8 per cent in the beginning of Q4 2015 to 25 per cent as of the end of September 2016. It also increased for the 25-34 age group, from 10.8 per cent to 15 per cent during the period.
This means that despite Nigeria’s much-touted youthful population, the nation’s economy is significantly still being dominated by the older generation.
15.9 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed as of the end of the Q3 2016, a further 22.9 per cent were underemployed during the period.