Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Lagos and Kaduna States have the highest unemployed population in the country, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
NBS however, revealed that a total of 740,146 jobs were created in Lagos State between July 2017 and June 2018, representing the highest in the country during the period under review.
The report showed that with Rivers State’s unemployed population at 1,673,991, Akwa Ibom 1,357,754, Kano at 1,257,130, Lagos at 1,088,352 and Kaduna at 940,480, the five states top the unemployed population chart.
According to the Labour Force Statistics – Volume 2: Unemployment and Underemployment by State (Q3, 2018), which was released by the statistical agency over the weekend, among the five leading states with the unemployed population, Lagos State reported the lowest rate of 14.6 per cent during the reference quarter.
Also, Akwa Ibom State reported the highest unemployment rate 37.7 per cent , followed by Rivers 36.4 per cent, Bayelsa 32.6 per cent, Abia 31.6 per cent and Borno 31.4 per cent.
The report further showed that Katsina, Jigawa, Kaduna, and Yobe States recorded the highest underemployment rates of 39.5 per cent , 38.1 per cent , 31.0 per cent and 30.0 per cent, respectively.
The national unemployment rate for the quarter, which was released earlier stood at 23.1 per cent , while the underemployment rate was 20.1 per cent.
According to the NBS, between Q3 2017 and Q3 2018, only nine states, including Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Ondo and Rivers recorded a reduction in their unemployment rates despite an increase in the national unemployment rate.
Also, the same states recorded reduction in their combined unemployment and underemployment rates.
It stated further that six states recorded the highest gains in net full time employment between Q3 2017 and Q2 2018 – Lagos, adding 740,146 net full time jobs, Rivers 235,438, Imo 197,147, Ondo 142,514, Enugu 122,333 and Kaduna 118,929.
Commenting on the report, the Statistician General/Chief Executive of NBS, Dr. Yemi Kale noted that 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.”
“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, 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. You have to be within the labour force to be employed, underemployed and unemployed and you are not part of the labour force if you are not looking for work even if you don’t work.”
Explaining further, Kale said: “Such States tend to have a higher proportion of their economically active populations (those aged 15-64) outside the labour force, thereby reducing the number available and looking for work, and the number that can be unemployed or underemployed.
“State unemployment is a “moment-in-time” index only and can change quite quickly. It is therefore, advisable to be cautious in comparing trends, particularly among states, because of the ease of movement across state borders, as job seekers search for employment or economic opportunities in other states. Favourable conditions in one state may lead to an influx of job seekers in that state and in the process increasing unemployment in the performing state, while reducing the unemployment rate in the originating state.
“This may give a false impression that the state with the lower unemployment rate is performing better.”