THE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says a total of 21.7 million Nigerians are currently unemployed while 12.2 million among them are female.
According to the NBS’ Labour Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report released on Monday, 9.5 million unemployed Nigerians are male.
The report indicates that the country’s unemployment rate within 18 months, rose to 27.1 per cent in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020 from the 23.1 percent recorded in the third quarter (Q3) of 2018.
This indicates more than 17 million Nigerians have become unemployed since December 2014, while the total working age population has grown by almost the same number in the six years, the Cable reports.
The report states that the number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) during Q2 of 2020 was 116,871,186, representing a 1.2 percent increase, from 115,492,969, the figure recorded in Q3 of 2018.
It further showed that the number of persons in the labour force ( people within ages 15 -64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 80,291,894, adding that this was significantly less at 11.3 per cent, than the number of persons recorded in Q3 of 2018.
Of the number of people in the labour force, the report pointed that only 58,527,276 were recorded to be in employment, in Q2 of 2020, representing a fall by 15.8 per cent than the people recorded to be in employment in Q3 of 2020.
According to the report, Imo State reported the highest rate of unemployment at 48.7 per cent, while Anambra recorded the lowest rate of unemployment at 13.1 per cent.
Other states like: Akwa-Ibom State and Rivers State recorded unemployment rate of 45.2 percent and 43.7 percent respectively.
In June, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo disclosed that the economic sustainability committee, which he chairs, received projections that the number of unemployed people may rise to 39.4 million by the end of 2020 if the government did not take prompt measures.
“That unemployment may rise to 33.6 percent or about 39.4 million people by the end of 2020 if we fail to take prompt preemptive measures; that millions more will fall extreme poverty before the pandemic ends; that GDP may fall to between minus 4.40 per cent and minus 8.91%, depending on the length of the lockdown period and strength of our economic response,” Osinbajo had said
These projections balance on the rear view of likelihood of Nigeria plunging into its second recession in four years.
Clement Agba, the Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning on Thursday warned that the Nigerian economy may likely fall into another recession, unless there is a strong economic performance in the third quarter of 2020.