Rivers State has the Highest Misery Index in Nigeria

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Nigeria’s unemployment rate increased to 18.8% in Q3 2017, from 16.2% in Q2 and 13.9% in Q3’16. This makes Nigeria the country with the 11th highest unemployment rate in the world. Likewise, the underemployment rate inched to 21.2% in Q3, from 21.1% in Q2, and 19.1% in Q3’16. This means that 34.02 million people were either unemployed or underemployed in the third quarter of 2017.

The national misery index is now at 3.7% to 55.90. We expect the unemployment rate to ease marginally in 2018. It is a lagging economic indicator; hence the economic growth and pick up in business activities will be felt on the job data in 2018.

Rivers state has the highest unemployment rate of 41.8% and a misery index of 79.87. The state’s economic activity is concentrated on oil and gas, which involves
automated processes and requires low human capital. Taraba, which is dominated by agriculture, a labor-intensive sector, has the lowest misery index of 29.59 while Osun and Ogun both stood at 35.36 and 36.94 respectively.

The misery index is an economic indicator, created by Economist Arthur Okun measures the well being of the average citizen. It looks at the purchasing power of income, the ease of getting paid work, and the quality of available jobs. Unemployment + Underemployment + Inflation = Misery Index.

State Rank State U + U (%) Inflation (%) Misery  Index
1 Rivers 61.4 18.01 79.37
2 Jigawa 62.4 15.8 78.24
3 Kaduna 58.6 17.9 76.5
7 Kano 51.2 17.31 68.56
36 Taraba 13.4 16.18 29.59
35 Osun 19 16.37 35.36
34 Ogun 21 15.91 36.94
28 Lagos 32.7 15.59 48.33
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The spike in unemployment and underemployment occurred within the same period Nigeria exited recession and recorded a positive GDP growth rate of 1.4% (Q3’17). This means that Nigeria recorded a jobless growth in Q2 and Q3 of 2017. We expect the unemployment rate to ease marginally in 2018, given the anticipated uptick in private sector activity. It is a lagging economic indicator and its movement is a response to economic events or trends that have occurred. Hence the economic growth and pick up in business activities will be felt on the job data in 2018.

N.B: The misery index is an economic indicator that measures the well being of the average citizen. It looks at the purchasing power of income, the ease of getting paid work, and the quality of available jobs. Unemployment + Underemployment + Inflation = Misery Index.