The number of unemployed Nigerians rose to 23.19 million in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 on the back of job losses occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and its stifling impact on businesses during the period.
The Q4 unemployment rate report released yesterday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) titled: "Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report", shows that the number is 6.5 percent higher compared to 21.77 million recorded by NBS as unemployed in Q2'20. The Bureau did not produce unemployment report for the third quarter 2020.
This also indicates a 33.3 percent unemployment level compared to 27.1 percent in the previous period in Q2'20.
Recall that many companies laid off their workers in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and the lockdown that was introduced by the Federal Government to curtail the spread of the pandemic. NBS defined unemployment as the number of Nigerians that either did nothing or worked for less than 20 hours per week.
The report, however, showed that the level of underemployment declined to 22.8 percent from 28.6 percent in Q2'20.
Meanwhile the report also indicated that Imo State recorded the highest rate of unemployment at 56.64 percent, followed by Adamawa State at 54.89 percent and Cross Rivers State with 53.65 percent.
The states with the lowest rates of unemployment include Osun, Benue and Zamfara States with 11.65 percent, 11.98 percent and 12.99 percent respectively.
For underemployment, Benue State recorded the highest rate with 43.52 percent, followed by Zamfara and Jigawa states with 41.73 percent and 41.29 percent respectively.
"Combining both unemployment and underemployment, the state that recorded the highest rate was Imo with 82.5 percent, followed by Jigawa with 80 percent, while Ogun and Sokoto states recorded the lowest of the combined rates at 26.2 percent and 33.7 percent respectively."