Nigeria’s employment crisis worsened in the first quarter of 2016, with unemployment rate rising to 12.1 per cent, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, said.
The bureau said in its latest Unemployment Watch report that between December 2015 and March 2016, the population of unemployed Nigerians increased by 518,000 to over 1.45 million.
Economically active or working age population, the NBS said, increased from 105.02 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 106 million by the end of March 2016.
However, actual population of people willing, able and actively looking for work increased by 1.99 per cent, from 76.9 million in fourth quarter of 2015 to 78.4 million in the first quarter of 2016.
According to the report, youth unemployment grew from 14.46 per cent in the last quarter of 2015 to 16.39 per cent in the first quarter of 2016.
The report said failure of government to meet its target of creating a minimum of 1.5 million jobs required for the period to keep the unemployment rate constant at 10.4 per cent before the end of December 2015 worsened the unemployment situation.
The rate as at June end 2015 was 8.2 per cent and 9.9 per cent by September ending 2015.
The NBS said its computations were based on the International Labour Organization, ILO definition, which described unemployment as the population of persons aged 15–64 who, during the reference period, were available for work, actively seeking for work, but were unable to find work.