According to the NBS report for Q2, the unemployment rate is reported at 27.1 percent. This means that presently, over 21 million people in Nigeria, willing and able to work, after searching for jobs, remain jobless. This marks the highest unemployment rate in the country in 6 years since the NBS started collating unemployment data. Although this is not entirely surprising given the current economic state due to COVID-19 conditions, it is not any less alarming from the already high reported unemployment rate of 23.1 percent in 2018 Q3.
The disparity in the Nigerian given unemployment rate of 27.1 percent in comparison with the unemployment rate of 11.7 percent lies in the difference in definition; where the definition of unemployment in Nigeria typically applies to situations comprising of lower than 20 hours of work done per week, differs from the international definition.
It is glaring from the report that the youth are the largest sufferers of the worrisome employment situation in the country with an unemployment rate of 40.8 percent in the 15-24 years age bracket and a 30.7 percent rate in the 25-34 years age bracket, resulting in an aggregate of over 13million people aged between 15 and 34 years unemployed. This marks a youth unemployment rate of 34.9 percent rising significantly from the 29.7 percent reported in 2018 Q3.
This is, without a doubt, vital information given the highest proportion of the labour force lies in the 25-34 years age bracket and as such have a large bearing on the unemployment rate.
The worsening economic state appears to be taking a harder toll on women. There are 3 million more unemployed women than men with a female unemployment rate of 31.6 percent. Women make up over 12 million of the total unemployed of about 21 million people with a notable gap compared against the 22.9 percent mark for men with about 9 million men unemployed.
The relationship between education levels and unemployment remains a grey area as only about 23.6 percent of those without formal education are unemployed. Those with vocational and commercial education recorded the lowest unemployment rate of 17.9 percent whilst the number of unemployed graduates stands at 2.96 million.
The rural dwellers unemployment rate rose from 23.9 percent in Q3 2018 to 28 percent now in Q2 2020 which is not a far cry from a similar unemployment situation in urban areas which recorded a 25.4 percent rate for Q2 2020; a 4.2 percent increase from the 21.2 percent reported in Q3 2018.
The Imo state report of a 48.7 percent unemployment rate, is a far cry from its South-Eastern counterpart, Anambra, which reported the lowest unemployment rate of 13.1 percent.
However, conclusions from comparing the state rates must be drawn with caution, given the volatility, as the numbers are prone to fluctuations, mainly due to the ease of movement between state borders.
In addition to this; considering the concentration of both extremes of unemployment rate reports situated in one region of the country; the relationship between development and poverty levels in relation to unemployment becomes slightly more difficult to ascertain.