Nigeria’s unemployment rate rises in Q3 2023 – NBS

THE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has reported an increase in the Nigerian unemployment rate in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.

The statistics office disclosed this in its ‘Nigeria Labour Force Survey Q3 2023’ released on Monday, February 19.

It said the unemployment rate rose significantly to 5.0 per cent from 4.2 per cent in Q2 2023.

The statistics office changed the methodology for calculating the country’s unemployment rate and slashed the figure to 4.1 per cent in Q1 2023 from 33.3 per cent in Q4 2020.

Analysts had argued that the new NBS methodology did not reflect the accurate picture of the unemployment market in the country.

In its report released on Monday, the NBS stated that about 87.3 per cent of workers were self-employed in Q3 2023, while a minimal proportion of 12.7 per cent of workers were in wage employment in Q3 2023.

It also said that the unemployment rate among persons with post-secondary education was 7.8 per cent in the quarter under review and 8.6 per cent among youth aged between 15 and 24 years.

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In the urban areas, NBS puts the unemployment rate at 6.0 per cent in Q3 2023, a slight increase of 0.1 per cent from Q2 2023.

It also reported that time-related underemployment was 12.3 per cent, representing an increase of 0.5 per cent from the rate recorded in Q2 2023.

A further look at the NBS’ Q3 report showed that 4.1 per cent of the working-age population was engaged in subsistence agriculture.

While the informal employment rate was 92.3 per cent in Q3 2023, compared to 92.7 per cent in Q2 2023, the percentage of youth not in employment, education, or training rate was 13.7 per cent in the review quarter.  



    The labour force participation rate among the working-age population declined to 79.5 per cent in Q3 2023 compared to 80.4 per cent in Q2 2023.

    Also, employment-to-population ratio was 75.6 per cent in Q3 2023, with a decrease of 1.5 per cent compared to a ratio of Q2 2023.

    “The combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3% in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023,” the statistics office added.

    The United Nations (UN) has predicted that the global unemployment rate would worsen in 2024.

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