The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says 21.76 million Nigerians are now unemployed.
According to its Labour Force Statistics report released on Monday, the number of unemployed Nigerians went from 20.93 in 2018 to 21.76 million in the second quarter of 2020.
This means more than 17 million Nigerians have become unemployed since December 2014, while the total working age population has grown by almost the same number in those six years.
For the first time in the history of the revised NBS unemployment reports, the number of people in the labour force willing to work dropped.
The number of people in the labour force willing to work dropped by at least 10 million, according to NBS.
“A rise in the unemployment rate is not entirely equivalent to an increase in job losses. Rather, an increase in unemployment can occur as a result of several reasons, of which loss of an existing job is just one,” NBS noted.
The bureau stated that unemployment could increase due to “people previously outside the labor force (e.g students, housewives, etc)” deciding to join.
PwC had predicted that the unemployment rate in Nigeria would jump from 23.1 percent in 2018 to 35 percent in 2020 — but the current unemployment rate, according to NBS, stands at 27.1 percent.
The report also revealed that unemployment is prevalent among the age group 25 to 34, where over seven million people are unemployed.
This is the first labour force statistics report released in Nigeria since 2018.