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Nigeria’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.1% in Q1 2023 — NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says Nigeria’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2023, from 5.3 percent recorded in the previous quarter.

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the bureau had pegged the country’s unemployment rate at 33.3 percent.

The NBS, in a statement on Thursday, said the latest unemployment report adopted a new methodology and presented an in-depth analysis of the labour market.

The bureau also said the revised methodology defines employed persons as individuals who are working for pay or profit and who worked for at least one hour in the last seven days against 40 hours.

The NBS said it enhanced its methodology of collecting labour market data through the Nigeria Labour Force Survey (NLFS) in line with International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines.

“About three-quarters of working-age Nigerians1 were employed – 73.6% in Q4 2022 and 76.7% in Q1 2023. This shows that most people were engaged in some type of jobs for at least one hour in a week, for pay or profit,” the Bureau said.

“About one-third (36.4% in Q4 2022 and 33.2% in Q1 2023) of employed persons worked less than 40 hours per week in both quarters. This was most common among women, individuals with lower levels of education, young people, and those living in rural areas.

“Underemployment rate which is a share of employed people working less than 40 hours per week and declaring themselves willing and available to work more was 13.7% in Q4 2022 and 12.2% in Q1 2023.”

It added that most Nigerians operate their own businesses or engaged in farming activities.

“Unemployment stood at 5.3% in Q4 2022 and 4.1% in Q1 2023. This aligns with the rates in other developing countries where work, even if only for a few hours and in low-productivity jobs, is essential to make ends meet, particularly in the absence of any social protection for the unemployed.

“22.3% of the working age population were out of labour force in Q4 2022, while it was 20.1% in Q1, 2023.

“The rate of informal employment among the employed Nigerians was 93.5% in Q4 2022 and 92.6% in Q1 2023.”

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