Committee recommends new definition, methodology for unemployment statistics

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ABUJA – The Committee on the Review of Definition and Methodology for Computing Unemployment Statistics in Nigeria on Thursday recommended that concepts of employment, unemployment and underemployment needed modification.

Prof. Sarah Anyanwu, who chaired the committee inaugurated by the National Bureau of Statistics () in 2014, said this while presenting the committee’s report at the Unemployment Methodology Review Forum in Abuja.

Anyanwu said the committee observed that some concepts and definitions were found to be appropriate, while others needed some modifications.

“The concepts of employment, unemployment and underemployment were modified as follows: those in employment are persons who worked 20 hours and above in the reference week.

“Those unemployed are persons who did nothing or worked less than 20 hours in the reference week.

“And that those are persons who worked between 20 and 39 hours in the reference week,’’ Anyanwu said.

She stressed the for the NBS to disaggregate the labour force data on employment and unemployment to capture employment and categories of underemployment.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]

According to her, labour market dynamics should be captured in the survey instrument.

“There is the need for NBS to consider implementing the labour market information system approach in the capture of labour force statistics.

“It is recommended that public on the derivation and measurement procedure precede data release,’’ the committee chairperson said.

She said the enumeration areas used in the master sample of NBS should be updated regularly to ensure appropriate survey sampling frame.

“NBS should continue to use Labour Force Survey (LFS) and increase the sample size from about 1,000 to 2,000 households per state so that meaningful levels of data disaggregation could be achieved to satisfy the needs of users.

“Effort should be made to use electronic data collection devices. and retraining of field officers and their supervisors should be improved and the LFS should be adequately funded,’’ Anyanwu said.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Dr Yemi Kale, said the forum was to advocate for the correct processes, definitions and methodologies for producing and disseminating data.

Kale said the forum was to ensure that the data was used for evidence based policy and decision-making accordingly. (NAN)

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