A recent research on Labour Force statistics by the NBS has revealed that there has been a 23.1% increase in unemployment rate in Nigeria between 2017 and 2018. Between 2015 and present there has been approximately a 64% skyrocket in the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
Here is the breakdown. In Q3 2015, the total number of unemployed people was about 8million, in Q3 2016 it became 11million, by Q3 2017 it had become 16million as at Q3 2018 there were over 21 million unemployed Nigerians.
This is alarming in comparison to the number of people in the labour force which has increased by merely 16% since 2015. The number increased from approximately 76million in Q3 2015 to 81million in Q3 2016 to 85million in Q3 2017 and finally to 91million in Q3 2018. The labour force population comprises of people who are within the legal age and are willing and able to work.
Compare these unemployment figures with the yearly change in the number of people in employment since 2015. Between 2015 and 2018, the total number of people in employment (i.e with jobs) increased by 1.6% from 68.4 million to 69.54 million. For part-time employment (or underemployment), the total number of people decreased from 13million in Q3 2015 to 11million in Q3 2016 but increased to 18million in Q3 2017. Between 2017 and 2018, part-time employment increased by exactly 1%.
Also, within this same period, the total number of people classified as unemployed, which means they did nothing at all or worked too few hours (under 20 hours a week) to be classified as employed increased from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018. This is approximately a 16% increase in annual unemployment rate.
Based on this data, we can easily deduce that within the last four years more people have increasingly become unemployed while employment remains at a stalemate. Presently, over 21 million able-bodied Nigerians willing and capable of producing sustainable income for them and their households lie jobless and penniless. One can only wonder what the multiplier effect of having 21million jobless Nigerians is on an already struggling economy.
So where does this leave the average Nigerian, the young high-school leavers, the ambitious graduates, waiting to join the endless queue of idleness and misery, perhaps?