Nigeria’s unemployment rate has worsened from 16.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 to 18.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
The NBS in its third quarter report of 2017, report also states that the country will experience an increased unemployment rate in 2018.The report showed 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 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.
NBS noted that in the third quarter of this year,16.4 per cent of rural and 23.4 per cent of urban dwellers within the labour 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.
Data released showed that the rise in the rate was occasioned by the economic recession that saw the nation’s growth decelerate until September 2017 when Nigeria finally exited recession.
The Programme Officer, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Uyo, Paul Awulu, hinged unemployment as the major cause of insurgency in Nigeria.He said the state government pays over 90 per cent of its allocation on salaries and services of loans, which means that no provision for capital projects and job creation. He added that agriculture, which created major source of employment was left as soon as Nigeria discovered oil.
He urged universities in the country to initiate academic programmes capable of producing graduates who would become employers of labour rather than employment-seekers.NBS states that Nigeria is too weak to close the significant employment gap that have emerged since the beginning of the global economic crisis in 2008.
According to the International Labour Organisation, (ILO), global unemployment population is expected to rise by 3.4 million in 2017, bringing the global unemployment population to be over 201 million.
Comparing Nigeria’s third quarter’s unemployment rate with the international rates recorded in different period, Nigeria ranks the 28th among these international records.
The highest unemployment rate in the world is recorded in Djibouti (54 per cent), Congo (46.1 per cent), Bosnia and Herzegovinian (41.7 per cent), Haiti (40.6 per cent), and Afghanistan (40 per cent) while the lowest are found in Qatar (0.2 per cent), Cambodia (0.5per cent), Belarus (1.0 per cent), Benin (1.0 per cent), and Thailand (1.0 per cent).
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