From Samuel Bello, Abuja
National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has stated that the country’s unemployment rate increased from 14.2 per cent in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2016 to16.2 percent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2017 and 18.8 per cent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2017.
The bureau, in the report made available and obtained by Sunday Sun, stated that the number of people within the labour force who are unemployed or underemployed increased from 13.6 million and 17.7 million respectively in Q2 2017, to 15.9 million and 18.0 million in Q3 2017.
The stats office stated that the total unemployment and underemployment combined increased from 37.2 per cent in the previous quarter to 40.0 per cent in Q3 2017.
The report also stated that in the third quarter of 2017, 21.2 per cent of women within the labour force (aged 15-64 and willing, able, and actively seeking work) were unemployed, compared with 16.5 per cent of men within the same period.
It added that 16.4 per cent of rural and 23.4 per cent of urban dwellers within the labour force were unemployed and unemployment was increasing at a slightly faster rate for urban dwellers than it were for their rural counterparts.
“Underemployment is predominant in the rural areas (26.9 per cent of rural residents within the labour force in Q3 2017) are underemployed (engaged in work for less than 20 hours a week); compared to nine per cent of urban residents within the same period,” the report said
It also reported that for the period under review, in the third quarter of 2017, the unemployment rate for young people stood at 33.1 per cent for those aged 15 to 24, and 20.2 per cent for those aged 25 to 34. “Underemployment within the same quarter rose slightly amongst the 25 to 34 age group from 22.2 per cent in Q2 2017 to 22.3 per cent in Q3 2017; and declined slightly amongst the 15 to 24 age group from 35.1 per cent in Q2 2017 to 34.2 per cent in Q3 2017. It stated further that in the third quarter of 2017, 67.3 per cent of young people aged 15-24 years were either underemployed (engaged in work for less than 20 hours a week or low skilled work not commensurate with their skills and qualifications) or unemployed (have no work at all but willing and actively seeking to work), compared to 64.6 per cent in the previous quarter. “The combined underemployment plus unemployment rate for the 25 to 34-year age group stood at 42.5 per cent within the quarter under review, compared with 39.6 per cent in the previous quarter.
“Combined unemployment and underemployment rate for the entire youth labour force (15-35 years) was 52.65 per cent or 22.64 million (10.96 million unemployed and another 11.68 million underemployed), compared to 45.65 per cent in Q3 2016, 47.41 per cent in Q4 2016 and 49.70 per cent in Q3 2017. Unemployment tends to be higher for people within the labor force that have post-secondary school,” it noted.