The National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, has disclosed that the nation’s unemployment rate has in the second quarter (Q2) of 2015 risen to 8.2 per cent from the 7.5 per cent rate which was recorded in the preceding quarter. This brings to three the consecutive rise in unemployment rate in the country since the third quarter of 2014.
The Bureau explained that the economically active population or working age, comprising persons within the age range of 15 to 64, increased to 103.5 million in the second quarter (Q2), up from 102.8 million in the first quarter.
This was as it disclosed that the labour force population, comprising those within the working age, who are willing, able and actively looking for work, increased to 74.0 million in Q2 from 73.4 million in Q1, indicating an increase in the labour force by 0.81 per cent.
This indicates that 574,498 economically active persons within 15 to 64 joined the labour force during the quarter under review.
The agency attributed the decline in the number of full employment or those working less than 40 hours despite a rise in the labour force to job losses or previously fully employed persons choosing or being forced to work part time or in underemployment.
It further clarified that with an economically active or working age population of 103.5 million and labour force population of 74.0 million, the rate indicated that 29.5 million persons within the economically active or working age population decided not to work for various reasons in Q2, compared to 29.3 million in the preceding quarter of this year.
According to the NBS, “The number of underemployed in the labour force during the review quarter however, increased by 1,362,274 or 11.16 per cent resulting in an increase in the underemployment rate to 18.3 per cent (13.5mn) in Q2 2015, from 16.6 per cent (12.2mn) in Q1 2015.
“Accordingly, there were a total of 19.6 million people between ages 1565 either unemployed or underemployed in the labour force in Q2 2015, compared to 17.7 million in Q1 2015,” it stated.