Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.

Nigeria’s youth unemployment is growing. But on October 22nd, 2020, in his highly anticipated broadcast to the nation, the president mentioned that his administration had put in place a lot of programs to help Nigerian youths, including Tradermoni, Farmermoni, Npower and so many other social investment programs.

We decided to look at the unemployment data to see how Nigerian youths are really faring.

What is unemployment?

According to the International Labour Organisation, an unemployed person refers to someone above 15 years who is available for work, is actively looking for work and meets three conditions:

  1. is without unemployment and has not worked for at least one hour during the survey period;
  2. is available to take up employment within two weeks;
  3. actively looked for a job within the past month or will take up a job starting within the next three months.

Now, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics in its unemployment report released in August this year:

  • The number of people in the economically active or working-age population of 15-64 years was 116, 871,186 people, 1.2% higher than the figure recorded as at September 2018, which was 115,492,969.
  • However, the number of people in the labour force between the ages 15-64 who are willing and able to work was 80,291,894. Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 are highest, making up 23,308, 460 of the labour force or 29.1% of the labour force.
  • The total number of people in employment (people with jobs) during the survey period was 58, 527, 276. Of this number, 35,585, 274 were full-time employed (i.e worked 40+ hours per week, while 22,942,003 were under-employed (i.e working between 20-29 hours per week). 15.8% of the employed were under-employed.
  • The unemployment rate as at June 2020 was 27.1% up from the 23.1% recorded as at September 2018. Underemployment rate also increased from 20.1% as at September 2018 to 28.6% as at June 2020.
  • As at June 2020, the unemployment rate among young people was 34.9% up from 29.7%, while underemployment for the same age group rose to 28.2% from 25.7% as at September 2018. 
  • The unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 28% up from 23.9% as at September 2018, while urban dwellers reported a rate of 25.4% up from 21.2%. Under-employment among rural dwellers also rose to 31.5% from 22.8%, while the rate among urban dwellers rose to 23.2% from 13.7% as at September 2018.

5 Important Things

  1. Around 80 million Nigerians are willing and able to work.
  2. 58 million of these 80 million are employed (fully employed and under-employed).
  3. 23 million people within this 58 million workforce are between the ages of 25-34 years.
  4. 22 million Nigerians are unemployed.
  5. 13.9 million Nigerian youths are unemployed.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.



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