Millions of Nigerians graduate from university unable to get jobs

Latest job figures from Nigeria’s National National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has come predictably high on unemployment.

According to the figures contained in the Labor Force Statistics: Unemployment and Underemployment Report released by the Bureau of Statistics on Monday, the unemployment rate worsened last quarter, rising from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter to 33.3 percent. This translates to a percentage point increase of 5.2.

There is one silver lining however. The rate of underemployment, people who work less than 40 hours a week, declined from 28.6 per cent to 22.8 per cent during the period.

The report said 23.2 million of 69.7 million Nigerians in the labour market were jobless.

“The number of persons in the labour force (that is, people within ages 15-64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 69,675,468,” the report said.

“This was 13.22 per cent less than the number of persons in Q2, 2020. Of this number, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest, with 20,091,695 or 28.34 per cent of the labour force.

“This is the estimated number of persons within the economically-active population or working population that are available and willing to work. This implies that as of Q4 2020, only 57.09 per cent of Nigeria’s economically-active population is in the labour force.”

According to the data, unemployment was worst among youth between 24 and 35 years where 7.5 million or 37 per cent of the number of the demographic group in the labour market were jobless.

Female unemployment was highest among the genders with 35.2 per cent while that of the male was 31.8 per cent during the reference period. The trend is the same for underemployment where 24.2 per cent was reported for females as against males’ 21.8 per cent.

Also, the unemployment rate among rural dwellers was 34.5 per cent while urban dwellers were 31.3 per cent. In the case of underemployment, rural dwellers reported a rate of 26.9 per cent while the rate among urban dwellers was 16.2 per cent.

“When considered by educational status, those reporting A ‘levels as their highest qualification had the highest rate of unemployment at 50.7 per cent, followed by those with first degree/HND at 40.1 per cent. Those with Doctorate Degrees as their highest qualifications reported the lowest rate of unemployment, 16.9 per cent during the reference period