Nigeria’s unemployment rate stood at 5.3 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2022 and 4.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reports.
The bureau said this in its Nigeria Labour Force Survey (NLFS) report for Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 launch on Thursday.
The NBS had in March 2021 reported that Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 33.3 per cent, translating to some 23.2 million people, the highest in at least 13 years and the second-highest rate in the world.
The figure jumped from 27.1 per cent recorded in the second quarter of 2020 amidst Nigeria’s lingering economic crisis made worse by the coronavirus pandemic. The unemployment rate in the country has more than quadrupled since 2016 when the economy slipped into a recession.
In April 2021, the then Nigeria’s Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, claimed that the World Bank questioned the methodology employed by the NBS to generate its employment statistics.
He added that he had on several occasions queried the employment statistics released by the NBS.
“We have a virtual meeting of the National Economic Advisory Council with the World Bank to look at Nigeria’s modalities for employment statistics data collection.
“There has been a little confusion there as to the accuracy of data generated by the NBS. So, we want to align everything tomorrow (Thursday). The World Bank says the NBS methodology doesn’t conform to the global standard, especially the ILO format of arriving at such (an) employment Index.” Mr Ngige said at the time.
But the NBS dismissed Mr Ngige’s claim, adding that the World Bank never questioned its methodology.
On Thursday the NBS said it has enhanced its methodology of collecting labour market data through the Nigeria Labour Force Survey (NLFS) in line with International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines.
“The data collection for the revised NLFS is based on a sample of 35,520 households nationwide.
“It is conducted continuously throughout the year, with national-level results produced quarterly and state-level results at the end of a full year,” the bureau said.