Nigeria records highest unemployment rate in 6yrs at 27% in Q2 2020
….as more than 21m persons are without job
The number of jobless people in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, increased to over 21 million in the second quarter of 2020, the highest the country has reported since the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) started collating the data in 2014.
At a record-high of 27.1 percent in Q2 2020, Nigeria’s unemployment rate has risen for 23 consecutive quarters since Q4 2014, as analysed from the NBS labour force statistics released on Friday.
Exacerbated by the outbreak of COVID-19, the Q2 2020 unemployment rate is 4 percentage points higher than the 23.1 percent reported in the last NBS labour statistics that was published in Q3 2018 and 19.7 percentage points more than 7.4 percent recorded in Q2 2014.
Considered by economists as an important economic and social indicator used in the analysis, evaluation, and monitoring of the economy, the labour market, and a wide range of government policies, Nigeria’s current unemployment data show that indeed the country is producing more people than it can feed.
In the last five years, the Nigerian economy has been growing at a pace slower than the country’s population growth rate and with more jobless population amid poor economic output, the spending power of millions of Nigerians is nowhere near the global requirement. No wonder the World Data Lab said Africa’s most populous country crossed the 83 million poverty mark in 2018, surpassing India’s number of extremely poor at 73 million.
Breakdown of NBS data shows that Nigeria’s unemployment rate embarked on an upward spiral in the first quarter of 2015 after a decline to 6.4 percent a quarter earlier.
Since 2017 when oil-dependent Nigeria emerged from its economic recession, not only has the country’s economic growth been sluggish but only a few sectors triggered the expansion, further undermining the country’s capacity to create enough jobs to meet the growing number of labour market entrants.