By Eric Elezuo
Following the biting recession which hit the Nigerian economic space coupled with very unpopular economic policies, the National Bureau of Statistics has said that a total of four million Nigerians were rendered jobless.
In its analysis, the body reputed for near-perfect figure analysis, said that between January and September this year, a total number of 4.07 million Nigerians became unemployed. The figure is contained an analysis of the unemployment report for the third quarter released by the National Bureau of Statistics.
The bureau in the report, stated that the number of Nigerians that became unemployed rose from 11.92 million in the first quarter of this year to 13.58 million and 15.99 million in the second and third quarters respectively.
It said between the second quarter and third quarter, the number of economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million to 111.1 million.
The NBS report said the increasing unemployment and underemployment rates imply that although Nigeria’s economy is officially out of recession, domestic labour market is still fragile and economic growths in the past two quarters in 2017 have not been strong enough to provide employment in Nigeria’s domestic labor market.
It reads in part, “The labor force population increased from 83.9 million in Q2 2017 to 85.1 million in Q3 2017. The total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) declined from 52.7 million in Q2 2017 to 51.1 million in Q3 2017.
“The unemployment rate increased from 14.2 per cent in Q4 2016 to 16.2 per cent in Q2 2017 and 18.8 per cent in Q3 2017.
“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.
“Total unemployment and underemployment combined increased from 37.2 per cent in the previous quarter to 40 per cent in Q3 2017.”
It said during the third quarter of this year, 21.2 per cent of women within the labor force that were between the ages of 15 years and 64 years and willing, able, and actively seeking work were unemployed, compared with 16.5 per cent of men within the same period.
The NBS noted in the report that in the third quarter of this year, 16.4 per cent of rural and 23.4 per cent of urban dwellers within the labor force were unemployed. It added that the rate of unemployment is increasing at a slightly faster rate for urban dwellers than it was for their rural counterparts.
It would be recalled that at the wee hours of the life of the present administration, Nigerians began grappling with hardship, and companies including construction, financial, educational, medical and whatever sector that functions within the Nigerian business environment began the process of staff downsizing, and a great many breadwinners were let off the labour force.
Many reportedly committed suicide, and were not captured in the NBS analysis.