Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale
Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, National Bureau of Statistics, Dr. Yemi Kale

There were more unemployed and under-employed women than men in the Nigerian labour market during the first quarter of Year 2015. According to the National Bureau of Statistics 2015 first quarter report, “8.9 per cent of women in the labour force (those between 15 and 65 willing, able and actively working or searching for work) were unemployed in Q1 2015, up from 7.5 per cent in Q4 2014, while another 19.6 per cent of women in the labour force were underemployed in Q1 2015.

On the other hand, 6.3per cent of males were unemployed in Q1 2015, up from 5.4 per cent in Q4 2014, while another 13.9 per cent of males in the labour force were underemployed.”

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report also said that unemployment rate in Nigeria rose to 7.5 per cent in the first quarter of the 2015 against its 6.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014. It also said that the number of unemployed in the labour force grew by 18.43 per cent to 861,110 persons between Q4 2014 and Q1 2015. However, the number of underemployed in the labour force declined to 16.6 per cent in the period under review compared to 17.9 per cent in the previous quarter.

The report stated that the working population increased to 73.4 million from 72.9million in Q4 2014, representing an increase in the labour force by 0.69 per cent. “This means 504,596 economically active persons within the age bracket of 15 to 64 years entered the labour force i.e. were able and willing and actively looking for work between January 1 and March 31 2015. Within the same period, the total number in full employment (did something for at least 40hours) increased by 0.88 per cent,” the report said.

It further stated that 12.2 million Nigerians were underemployed in Q1 2015 compared to 13.1 million persons in Q4 2014.

According to the highlights of the Unemployment and Underemployment Watch for first quarter of 2015 which was released recently, there were a total of 17.7 million people between ages 15 and 65 either unemployed or underemployed in the labour force in Q1 2015.

“The fact that the number of people that became unemployed (861,110 people) in the first quarter 2015 exceed the number of people that entered the labour force within the same period (504,596 persons) is an indication that some persons previously working in full employment lost their jobs while others previously underemployed and doing temporary, or part time work ended whatever they were doing and accordingly now didn’t have anything to do for at least 20 hours a week during the reference period.”

The NBS said that the unemployment rate within the review period was highest for those within the ages of 15 and 24 (13.7per cent in Q1 2015, up from 11.7 per cent in Q4 2014), while the underemployment rate for those within the ages of 15 to 24 was 30.6 per cent. For those in the labour force within the ages of 25 to 34 however, unemployment rose to 8.2 per cent in Q1 2015 from 6.9 per cent in Q4 2014, while underemployment stood at 17.7 per cent in Q1 2015 from 19.0 per cent in Q4 2014.

Accordingly 44.3 per cent of Nigerians in the labour force (not entire population) aged 15 to 24 were either unemployed or underemployed; while another 25.9 per cent aged 25 to 34 were either unemployed or under employed in Q1 2015.”

By Dike Onwuamaeze

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