BY FESTUS OKOROMADU,ABUJA
The National Bureau of Statistics has said that Nigeria’s employment rate improved by 3.1 parentage points in the first quarter of 2023 to 76.7 percent from 73.6 percent reported in the fourth quarter of 2022.
Similarly, the country’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.1 percent in the first quarter of 2023 against 5.3 percent recorded during the fourth quarter of 2022.
The NBS in its unemployment report released on Thursday said the survey it conducted showed that about three quarters of working-age Nigerians were employed in the first quarter of 2023.
The Bureau said the methodology of collecting labour market data was enhanced through the Nigeria Labour Force Survey in line with International Labour Organisation 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 results presented in this report are for the reference periods of Q4 2022 and Q1 2023.
“About three-quarters of working-age Nigerians were employed – 73.6 percent in Q4 2022 and 76.7 percent in Q1 2023. This shows that most people were engaged in some type of jobs for at least one hour in a week, for pay or profit.
“About one-third (36.4% in Q4 2022 and 33.2% in Q1 2023) of employed persons worked less than 40 hours per week in both quarters. This was most common among women, individuals with lower levels of education, young people, and those living in rural areas.
Underemployment rate, which is a share of employed people working less than 40 hours per week and declaring themselves willing and available to work more, was 13.7 percent in Q4 2022 and 12.2 percent in Q1 2023.
The share of wage employment was 13.4 percent in Q4 2022 and 11.8 percent in Q1 2023.
However, NBS noted that most Nigerians operate their own businesses or engaged in farming activities. The shares are 73.1 percent and 75.4 percent in Q4 2022 and Q1 2023 respectively.
While 10.7 percent of Nigerians were engaged in helping (without pay or profit) in a household business in Q4 2022, the figure dropped slightly to 10.6 percent in Q1 2023.
“In Q4 2022, 2.6% were engaged as Apprentices/Interns and 2.2% in Q1, 2023,” the report stated.