Updated: Unemployment rate fall to 4.1%, NBS clarifies report

THE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest report, the organisation said the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, translating to 8.2 million unemployed Nigerians based on the estimated 200 million population.

The report, covering the fourth quarter of 2022, revealed that 5.3 per cent of the population, equivalent to 10.6 million Nigerians, were unemployed during that period. The data showed a significant drop by over two million. 

NBS clarifies report

The ICIR had earlier reported that the Bureau disclosed another figure totally deviating from the unemployment statistics highlighted on the summary page of its report. On a separate page, it reported that 4.1 per cent, estimated to 8.2 million, are unemployed for the fourth quarter of 2022, while in Q1 2023, 3.3 per cent, which is 6.6m Nigerians are unemployed.

However, the bureau told The ICIR that the page reflected the proportion of the working-age population and not the unemployment rate.

153 million Nigerians are employed

Based on the employment rate for Q1 2023, as highlighted by the Bureau, about 153 million Nigerians are employed. This shows that most people were engaged in some jobs for at least one hour in a week for pay or profit.

The data also show a significant increase to that of the fourth quarter of 2022 as 73.6 per cent of that age bracket work for at least one hour in a week.

The report also showed that about one-third of employed individuals, 36.4 per cent in Q4 2022 and 33.2 per cent in Q1 2023, worked fewer than 40 hours per week during both quarters. This trend was particularly prevalent among women, individuals with lower educational attainment, younger age groups, and residents of rural areas.

This marks a significant decrease in joblessness within the country compared to the from 2020.

In 2021, The ICIR reports that NBS in its report titled ‘Labour Force Statistics, Unemployment and Underemployment-Q4 2020,’ stated that 33.3 per cent of the current population of Nigeria is unemployed, meaning that one in three Nigerians was without a job.

According to the NBS, the 33.3 per cent is a 23 per cent increase from the 27.1 per cent rate recorded in the second quarter of 2020 (Q2) 2020. 

Underemployment rate declined from 28.6 per cent in Q2 2020 to 22. 8 per cent in Q4 2020.

Although Nigeria has a huge population of young people between the age of 15-34 years, the data revealed that the unemployment rate within this age group rose to 42.5 per cent in Q4 of 2020, from 34.9 per cent in Q2 2020.

Underemployment for young Nigerians declined to 21.0 per cent in Q4 of 2020, from 28.2 per cent recorded in Q2 of 2020.

NBS data showed that during Q4 2020, 46.49 million Nigerians were with jobs, with 30.57 million fully employed and 15.915 million underemployed (working 20-29 hours per week).

Tinubu’s promise on job creation

Tinubu, had in different reports, promised to create meaningful opportunities for youths to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.



    In his inaugural promises, he reiterated that his administration would create one million jobs through the digital economy for the teeming youths in Nigeria.

    He said, “My administration must create meaningful opportunities for our youth. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy,”

    “My administration must create meaningful opportunities for our youth. We shall honour our campaign commitment of one million new jobs in the digital economy. 

    “Our government also shall work with the National Assembly to fashion an omnibus Jobs and Prosperity bill. This bill will give our administration the policy space to embark on labour-intensive infrastructural improvements, encourage light industry and provide improved social services for the poor, elderly and vulnerable.”

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

    Kehinde Ogunyale tells stories by using data to hold power into account. You can send him a mail at [email protected] or Twitter: Prof_KennyJames

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