By Cecilia Ologunagba
Abuja – The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Akwa Ibom reported the highest unemployment rate of 37.7 per cent in third quarter 2018.
NBS said this in its Labour Force Statistics – Volume 2: Unemployment and Underemployment by State for Third Quarter, 2018 posted on its website.
The bureau said that Rivers was the second highest reported unemployment rate with 36.4 per cent followed by Bayelsa with 32.6 per cent.
Also, Abia recorded 31.6 per cent and Borno reported 31.4 per cent unemployment rate in the quarter under review.
The report said the top five states with the highest unemployed population were Rivers (1,673,991), Akwa Ibom (1,357,754), Kano (1,257,130), Lagos (1,088,352) and Kaduna with (940,480).
It said among these five states with the highest unemployed population, Lagos state reported the lowest rate of 14.6 per cent during the quarter.
Meanwhile, the bureau said Katsina State, Jigawa, Kaduna State and Yobe recorded the highest underemployment rates of 39.5, 38.1, 31.0 and 30.0 per cent.
It said the national unemployment rate for the quarter was 23.1 per cent while the underemployment rate was 20.1 per cent.
The report said between third quarter, 2017 and third quarter of 2018, only nine states recorded a reduction in their unemployment rates despite an increase in the national unemployment rate.
The states included: Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo and Rivers; the same states recorded reduction in their combined unemployment and underemployment rates.
The report said six states recorded the highest gains in net full time employment between third quarter, 2017 and second quarter, 2018.
The states were Lagos adding 740,146 net full time jobs, Rivers (235,438), Imo (197,147), Ondo (142,514), Enugu (122,333), Kaduna with 118,929 jobs.
The report presents the state breakdown of the results of the Labour Force Survey earlier published by NBS.
According to NBS, unemployment and underemployment rates vary across states due to the nature of economic activity predominant in each State.
States with higher focus on seasonal agriculture tend to have higher rates of underemployment compared to unemployment.
This may swing from high full-time employment during periods of planting and harvest, when they are fully engaged on their farms to periods of high underemployment and even unemployment at other periods in between.
Meanwhile, states with a higher propensity for women to be housewives or stay home husbands or that have negative attitudes to working tend to have lower unemployment rates.
The women tend to have lower unemployment rate as they are not considered part of the labour force in the first place and as such have no bearing on the rate of unemployment.
On the methodology for arriving at the figures, the bureau said the total population in Nigeria was divided into labour force (currently active) and non-labour force (not currently active).
The labour force population covers all persons aged 15 years to 64 years who are willing and able to work regardless of whether they have a job or not.
The definition of unemployment, therefore, covers persons (aged 15–64 years) who during the reference period were currently available for work, actively seeking for work but were without work.
The non-labour force includes population below 15 yearsvor older than 64 years as well as those within the economically active population. (NAN)