• Puts active labour force at 76.96m

James Emejo in Abuja
The unemployment rate in the country has climbed to 10.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year (Q4 2015) compared to 9.9 per cent in the previous quarter, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated monday.

It noted that a total of 22.45 million of the total labour force of 76.96 million were either unemployed or underemployed in Q4 compared to compared to 20.7 million in Q3 and 19.6 million in Q2.

According to the Unemployment/Underemployment Report for Q4 2015, which was released by the statistical agency, the number of unemployed increased by 518,102 persons, resulting in an increase in the national unemployment rate.
The rate was recorded at 8.2 per cent in Q2 2015.

It further stated that the labour force population-those within the working age population willing, able and actively looking for work- increased to 76.96 million from 75.94million in Q3, representing an increase of 1.34 per cent during the quarter.

According to the NBS, the economically active population or working age population-persons within ages 15 and 64- increased to 105.02 million in Q4, from 104.3 million in Q3, representing a 0.68 per cent increase over the previous quarter and a 3.2 per cent rise when compared to Q4 2014.

“This means 1.02 million persons in the economically active population entered the labour force, that is individuals that were able, willing and actively looking for work,” it added.

The NBS said the number of underemployed-those working but doing menial jobs not commensurate with their qualifications or those not engaged in fulltime work and merely working for few hours-increased by 1.21 million or 9.16 per cent, resulting in an increase in the underemployment rate to 18.7 per cent or (14.42million persons) in Q4 from 17.4 per cent (13.2 million) in Q3 and 18.3 per cent (13.5 million) in Q2 2015.