A feature documentary currently airing on Netflix Naija is making the rounds as a direct depiction of the fate of Nigeria’s unemployment problem and the fate of its youthful population.
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It is no longer news that a huge crop of people are living hand to mouth and can barely feed themselves and their loved ones properly. Agama, an Area Boy, recounted in the Netflix documentary the sad fate that befell two of his friends over a tussle on Suya – a popular delicacy.
In hindsight, it was telling in how people felt the raw hopelessness and anger of the youth during the #EndSARS protests in October 2020 with the trajectory of the protests and looting that followed before the movement died off.
Most of the youthful despair can be traced to unemployment- and the government appears to be unserious and clueless on how to approach the menace. A cursory look at the Labour and Employment numbers published by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for the 4th Quarter 2020 corroborates this view.
The number of persons in the economically active or working-age population (i.e., people aged between 15 to 64 years of age) during the reference period of the survey, Q4, 2020 was 122,049,400.
The number of persons in the labour force (i.e., people between ages 15-64, who are able and willing to work) was estimated to be 69,675,468. Of the labour force numbers, those within the age bracket of 25-34 were highest; constituting as much as 20,091,695 or 28.8% of the entire labour force.
The unemployment rate during the reference period, increased to 33.3% in Q4, 2020 indicating an increase from the Q2, 2020 figure of 27.1%. Also, the underemployment rate declined from 28.6% in Q2, 2020 to 22.8% in Q4, 2020. This means that a minimum additional number of employed people crossed from being partially employed into being fully employed within the year 2020.
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The total number of people in employment (i.e., people with jobs) as of the Q4, 2020 reference period was 46,488,079. Of this number, 30,572,440 were full-time employed (i.e., worked 40+ hours per week), while 15,915,639 were under-employed (i.e., working between 20-29 hours per week).
Generally, the current quoted fully employed figures of 4th quarter 2020 (Q4, 2020) is 20.6% less than the people in employment in Q2, 2020. This translates to mean 20.6% of the labour force population lost their jobs or could not get a job between early 2020 and late 2020.
For the states of the federation, the employment, underemployment and unemployment numbers all show how each state fairs and compares to one another in terms of job opportunities and what it means for each of the geo-political zones.
Lagos, Oyo and Ogun came tops in the ranking of workers who are fully employed by organisations. Lagos had 2.9 million fully employed workers, Oyo with 2.07 million and Ogun with 1.75 million.
For the states with the nation’s 2nd highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) after Lagos, Rivers state has 1.71 million fully employed people while another state from the South-West zone, Ondo state, follows at 5th position with 1.47 million.
For there to be 3 South-West states in the top 5 fully employed cadre, this may indicate the impact of the service sector – the largest employing sector of the economy – is in solving the unemployment crisis in the nation.
Interestingly, Kano state, which is the 2nd most populous state in Nigeria places 7th on the fully employed category with 1.23 million people. As one of the most agrarian states in the country, one likely explanation for the low numbers for Kano is the huge chunk of underemployed people which agriculture claims in the employment index.
Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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