The umemployment rate in Nigeria has increased from 8.2 percent to 9.9 under President Buhari’s watch

According to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s unemployment rate has increased to 9.9 percent in the third quarter of 2015, representing a fourth consecutive rise in the unemployment rate since the third quarter of 2014. The Bureau revealed that a total of 1,454,620 Nigerians are unemployed in this quarter compared to 529,923 in the second quarter and this has led to an increase from 8.2 percent in second quarter 2015 to 9.9 percent in third quarter 2015. This announcement comes as President Muhammadu Buhari is about to mark his sixth month as President of Nigeria.

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The NBS used the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) definition to compute its unemployment details. This definition refers to people who work less than full time, which is 40 hours, but work at least 20 hours on average a week. It also includes those that work full time but are engaged in an activity that underutilizes their skills, time and educational qualifications. Drivers and cooks are considered employed since most of them fit into this time frame and their skills meet this methodology, while a farmer is underemployed if he only works during the planting season and remains idle until the harvest period.


The active economic population rose from 102.8 million in first quarter of 2015 to 103.5 million in the second quarter and subsequently 104.3 million in the third. The increase in the labour force population was attributed to newly qualified graduates and farmers getting involved in more working hours as a result of the beginning of the planting season. From the survey, subsistence farmers in the rural areas also employ more hands on their farm thus accounting for over 70 percent increase in full time employment. Furthermore, agriculture created over 428,000 jobs in the third quarter of 2015 compared to just 83,000 in the second quarter of 2015.

With more farmers entering into the category of fully employed people due to the beginning of planting season, the rate of underemployment will reduce slightly to 17.4 percent compared to the second quarter of 2015 which stood at 18.2 percent.


Despite the creation of about 427000 new jobs in the third quarter of 2015, Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to 9.9 percent which shows an inadequate space for over 1.9 million new entrants into the labour force.

The ILO previously forecasted a global unemployment rate of 5.9 percent this year which implies that if Nigeria’s underemployment rate of 17.4 percent is subtracted from the current unemployed rate of 9.9 percent, her unemployment rate is higher than the global average. However, Nigeria’s 9.9 percent unemployment rate is better than that of 67 countries but still worse than 113 countries including 21 African countries whose unemployment rate is lower than 9.9 percent.

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