Monday, August 03, 2015 06.45AM /News
Nigeria's unemployed or underemployed rate rose to 10.71 per cent by June 30, over the 17.7m recorded for the three months ended March 31, 2015, says the reliable Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
This figure was achieved off the back of a modest 0.72 per cent increase in the economically active population or working age population (persons within ages 15‐64) which increased from 102.8 million in Q1 2015 to 103.5million in Q2 2015.
Unemployment and underemployment during the period under reference was higher for women than men; while underemployment continues to be more of an rural issue (22.1% rural underemployment compared to 7.4% rural unemployment) owing majorly to the seasonal nature of the opportunities for work in such areas.
Analyst at Proshare note that the comparative figures with Q4 2014 would indicate that the Q2 2015 figures edged up by 5.20 per cent to reflect the general lull after a long drawn out election cycle after falling in Q1 2015 to -4.98 per cent.
This quarter-on-quarter increase did not come as a surprise, as the period typically sees an increase due to seasonal challenges in the rural areas where more of the labour force resides and the addition of school leavers/graduates into the labour force. What is however worth monitoring must be the consistent 1 per cent growth qoq in the number of people not in the labour force and the decline in the number of fully employed persons 2% qoq (though this grew by 1% compared to Q4 2015). A much more detailed analysis of this valuable data needs to be further studied by the government.
Here are four (4) key take-aways from the report as released by the NBS.
1. Highlights of Unemployment and Underemployment in Q2 2015
In Q2 2015, the labour force population (i.e those within the working age population willing, able and actively looking for work) increased to 74.0 million from 73.4million in Q1 2015, representing in an increase in the labour force by 0.81%. This means 574,498 economically active persons within 15‐64 entered the labour force i.e. were able and willing and actively looking for work between April 1 and June 30 2015.
Within the same period, the total number in full employment (did some work for at least 40hours) decreased by 1,317,700 or ‐2.37%. (a drop in number of full employment i.e those working less than 40 hours despite a rise in the labour force can be attributed more to job losses or previously fully employed persons choosing or being forced to work part time or in underemployment.)
With an economically active or working age population of 103.5 mn and labour force population of 74.0mn, this means 29.5mn persons within the economically active or working age population decided not to work for various reasons in Q2 2015 compared to 29.3mn in Q1 2015.
The number of underemployed in the labour force during the review quarter however, increased by 1,362,274 or 11.16% resulting in an increase in the underemployment rate to 18.3% (13.5mn) in Q2 2015, from 16.6% (12.2mn) in Q1 2015. Within the same period, the number of unemployed in the labour force, increased by 529,923 persons or 9.58%between Q1 2015 and Q2 2015 resulting in an increase in the unemployment rate to 8.2%in Q2 2015 from 7.5% in Q1 2015. This represents a third consecutive rise in the unemployment rate since Q3 2014.
Accordingly there were a total of 19.6 million people between ages 15‐65 either unemployed or underemployed in the labour force in Q2 2015, compared to 17.7 million in Q1 2015.
Unemployment Rate Trend (2010 – Q1, 2015)
2. Unemployment and Underemployment by Age
Unemployment and underemployment was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15‐24 and 25‐34 which represents the youth population in the labour force. The unemployment rate within the review period was highest for those within the ages of 15‐24 (14.9% in Q1 2015, up from 13.7% in Q1 2015), while the underemployment rate for those within the ages 15‐24 rose to 33.8% from 30.6% in Q12015. For those in the labour force within the ages of 25‐34 however, unemployment rose to 8.9% in Q2 2015 from 8.2% in Q1 2015 and 6.9% in Q4 2014, while underemployment stood at 19.5% from 17.7% in Q1 2015 and 19.0% in Q4 2014.
Accordingly, 48.7% of Nigerians in the labour force (not entire population) aged 15‐24 were either unemployed or underemployed in Q2 2015 compared to 44.3% in Q1 2015, while another 28.4% aged 25‐34 were either unemployed or underemployed in Q2 2015 compared to 25.9% in Q1 2015.
Unemployment and Under‐employment (2010 – Q1, 2015)
3. Unemployment and Underemployment by Gender
Unemployment and underemployment was higher for women than men in Q2 2015. While 9.6% of women in the labour force (those between 15‐65 willing, able and actively working or searching for work) were unemployed in Q2 2015, another 21.6% of women in the labour force were underemployed in Q2 2015. On the other hand, 6.9% of males were unemployed in Q2 2015, while another 15.4% of males in the labour force were underemployed.
Unemployment Rate by Gender (2010 – Q1, 2015)
4. Urban and Rural Unemployment and Underemployment
While underemployment continues to be more of an rural phenomenon (22.1% rural underemployment compared to 7.4% rural unemployment) given the nature of their jobs largely as seasonal farmers, unemployment is more of a concern in urban areas (10.1%urban unemployment compared to 7.4% urban underemployment) given the preference of graduates to search for formal white collar jobs located mostly in urban centres.
Labour Force Statistics Results, Q2, 2015 – showing distribution