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13.9 million Nigerian youth are unemployed – NBS

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics reveals Nigeria’s unemployment rate as at the second quarter of 2020 is 27.1% indicating that about  21,764,614 (21.7 million) Nigerians remain unemployed.

Nigeria’s unemployment and underemployment rate (28.6%) is a combined 55.7%. This means the total number of Nigerians who are unemployed or underemployed as at 2020 Q2.

The data also reveals the worst-hit are Nigerian youths with over 13.9 million currently unemployed.  In Q3 2018, the last time the report was released there were about 13.1 million Nigerian youths unemployed. Youth between the ages 15-24 have about 6.8 million Nigerians out of jobs and another 7.1 million also unemployed.

Key highlights

  • The highest unemployment rate was recorded for youths between 15 – 24 years 40.8%,
  • This is followed by ages 25 – 34 years at 30.7%.
  • NCE/OND and Nursing recorded an unemployment rate of 30.8%
  • The unemployment rate amongst second-degree holders (M.Sc/MS/MAdm) stood at 22.9%
  • Unemployment rate as classified by Doctorate degree holders is 23.3%

What this means: The NBS also reports Nigeria’s youth population eligible to work is about 40 million out of which only 14.7 million are fully employed and another 11.2 million are unemployed. A high youth unemployment rate is synonymous with increased insecurity and poverty a situation that is also seen as a ticking time bomb.

To put things into context, Nigeria’s unemployed youth of 13.1 million is more than the population of Rwanda and several other African countries. Youth Population is also about 64% of total unemployed Nigerians suggesting that the most agile working-class population in the country remains unemployed.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also worsened the economic condition in the country making it even harder for employers to create more jobs. The private sector has relied on cutting jobs in the guise of downsizing and right sizing to reduce overheads and stay afloat.

The recent data also buttresses the high rate of Nigerians seeking greener pastures outside the country with most of them highly skilled and looking for jobs of the future. According to most recent data, in 2019 about 12,600 Nigerians gained permanent residency in Canada last year helping the country to become the fourth-leading source country of new immigrants to Canada, behind India, China, and the Philippines.

Last year, the Government of Canada revealed Nigeria ranks third in the rating of the countries with the highest number of Express Entry invitations to Canada in 2018. This is revealed in the 2018 report released by the Canada Government. According to the report, a total number of 6,025 Citizens of Nigeria received invitations to apply (ITAs) for Canadian Express Entry in 2018. It was further revealed that Nigeria is just behind China who recorded 6,248 ITAs in 2018.

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