Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Has More Than Tripled Since the Last Election

The last few years have been extremely difficult for Nigerians economically, the government continually struggles to steer the country away from falling deeper into the worst recession it’s had in four decades as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to manifest.

Since Nigeria overtook India in 2018 as the country with the most people in extreme poverty, things have gone completely downhill. Nigeria has also been terribly affected by the disruption and near-total shutdown of the global oil economy, a commodity the country depends heavily on for most of its income.

Nigeria’s Bureau of Statistics recently released it’s latest unemployment report published which shows the most recent data as of Q2 2020 and how dire things are.

  • Nigeria’s unemployment rate has climbed to 27.1% – up from 23.1% in Q3 2018 when the unemployment report was last published.
  • The country’s underemployment rate—which reflects those working less than 40 hours a week, or in jobs that underutilize a person’s skills, time, or education—has increased to 28.6%.
  • Nigeria’s youth remain the hardest hit by unemployment with over 13.9 million people aged between 15 and 34 years unemployed.
  • About 21.7 million Nigerians are unemployed, a figure that exceeds the population of 35 of Africa’s 54 countries.
  • Among young Nigerians aged between 25 and 34, the largest bloc of the labor force, the unemployment rate currently stands even higher, at 30.7%.
  • Women also continue to bear the brunt of a bad economy with about 12.2 million out of jobs from the 27 million currently unemployed.
  • Out of the 35.5 million Nigerians that are fully employed, 28.8 million of them never attended school (6.29 million), or did not have a tertiary education (22.5).

It is a worrisome status as the global poverty capital (World Bank, 2018); and concomitant high prevalence rate of crimes and criminality, including mass murders, insurgency, militancy, armed robbery, kidnappings, and drug abuse, among others. As if this situation is not scary enough, it is projected that the unemployment rate for this country will reach 33.5 percent by 2020, with consequences that are better imagined, if the trend is not urgently reversed. It is a thing of joy to note that Nigeria has not been resting on her oars over the years in terms of dedicated efforts to curb the unemployment problem.

Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said at the time that the incessant increase in the rate of unemployment in the country was alarming.

Bleak economic growth and the rise in unemployed Nigerians will only compound the country’s long-running problem with lifting citizens out of poverty, Quartz reports.

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