Nigeria’s unemployment worsens as 18.8% are jobless

FILE PHOTO: Thousands of young Nigerians jostled for 11 job positions in UNTH Enugu, South East Nigeria

Nigeria’s unemployment rate worsened from 16.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017 to 18.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

The NBS said the number of people within the labour force who were unemployed increased from 13.6 million in the second quarter of the year to 15.9 million in the third quarter of same year, with more than two million people unemployed within the period.

Similarly, the number of underemployed increased from 17.7 million in the second quarter to 18.0 million in Q3 2017.

Data released by the NBS showed that the rise in the rate was occasioned by the economic recession that saw the nation’s growth decelerate until September 2017 when Nigeria finally exited recession.

“An economic recession is consistent with an increase in unemployment as jobs are lost and new jobs creation is stalled,” the report said.

“A return to economic growth provides an impetus to employment. However, employment growth may lag, and unemployment rates worsen especially at the end of a recession and for many months after.”

The report said economically active or working age population (15 – 64 years of age) increased from 110.3 million in Q2 to 111.1 million in Q3 2017, while the labor force population increased from 83.9 million in second quarter to 85.1 million in Q3 2017.

The total number of people in full-time employment (at least 40 hours a week) declined from 52.7 million in Q2 2017 to 51.1 million in Q3 2017, it said, adding that total unemployment and underemployment combined increased from 37.2 percent in the previous quarter to 40.0 percent in Q3 2017.

During the quarter Q3 2017, 21.2 percent of women within the labour force (aged 15-64 and willing, able, and actively seeking work) were unemployed, compared to 16.5 percent of men within the same period.

The report also noted that underemployment was predominant in the rural areas as 26.9 percent of rural residents within the labour force in were underemployed compared to 9 percent of urban residents within the same period.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Ralph

    Clearly an area to focus on


    There is no statistical data or scientific method of calculating the unemployment ratio in Nigeria because there is no compulsory data base capturing our ID in a compulsory manner. Everything is based on wild estimates released by government to suit it’s propaganda requirements.

    NIGERIA NEEDS A COMPULSORY ID SYSTEM WHICH WILL ALSO SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF POPULATION CENSUS ONCE AND FOR ALL………But you know what ? the north will continue to block it because they want us to believe that Kano is more populated than Lagos .

    • Tunsj

      Professor Tawanda, how did you come up with your figure of 40%? I will skip your Economics class. Anyway, Happy Holidays.

      • MP-001* [Joint Chief]


        • Odeku


          Yes O! APC party is united by theft;
          and by corruption and stealing – no account, no ideas, no ability to
          thinking, nothing good, just stealing and abusing opponents like ruffians. If
          you give these useless creatures called APC party another 20 years Nigeria will
          continue to go down into the worst recession. There is no single person in APC
          party with knowledge and with ability to think. Even the Bola Tinubu has no
          certificate of attendance of any primary or secondary school in this world. A
          party of illiterates can never move Nigeria forward. APC party of illiterates
          will destroy Nigeria.

          • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

            If you give these useless creatures called APC party another 20 years Nigeria will continue to go down into the worst recession.
            20 years is too much, we are praying the Country is still around by 2019

          • EdgarLegatt

            20 years hahaha u must be joking, do u think the country will remain beyond 2019 if unemployment doubles again? Anyway hooorrrrrrray Dangote to the rescue, with the refinery coming online next year God willing things will ease out. The only painful thing is that this daft APC leadership will take credit for Dangote’s singular effort started and enabled long before they came on board, and may end up getting reelected as a result

      • kaydutch


      • Yego V

        Sorry my colleague, T- INCOM, got it wrong. I recalculated, it’s 80 %. unemployment.
        My class is open .

        • Tunsj

          80%? You got to be kidding. Happy holidays.


        Happy holidays….just be honest, graduate unemployment is well above 30% while the general unemployment figures for people of working age is well above 40%.

  • Konkolo

    My advice to most morons in power in Nigeria is to encourage the private sector to thrive. In any developed or developing nations, the private sectors are the employers of labor. Those countries have what it takes for their private sectors to thrive in their chosen enterprise. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, the government of the day and the past ones have no clue on what it takes to help the private sectors to grow. When you make an enabling and profitable environment for a private sector to grow, it really helps them to absorb most unemployed persons in the society. It’s simple economics that no government sector can employ all her working age adults except for Nigeria that thinks it can. Provide 24/7 electricity supply, tax incentives, remove federal characters, and what have you, and see how all these will help the private sectors to grow and make them major employers of labor. The government can not employ everyone on its labor force, hence, a serious government need to do the right things.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Yego V

      According to Lai Mohammed, and APC we are going to employ everybody in the country. Just give us little time. 10 years

      • Konkolo

        My brother or sister, you and I know that those were cheap political talk. What has the APC or past administration since our independence put in place to make things work for the private sectors????

        • Yego V

          Sadly our people are yet to come to grips with the truth. I wonder how much more does a Nigerian have to suffer before our eyes open. I cannot believe that Buhari is talking about 2019 and we have fools tolerating it, giving listening ears and buying into it. Unbelievable !

          • Konkolo

            The problem with Nigeria and an average is Nigerian is much. The people only accepting the present situation as most of them waiting for God to come do their bidding. I personally have resigned myself to the pure facts that not in my generation is Nigeria going to advance.

  • De Gea Messi

    Indices emanating from critical sectors of the economy indicate this chanji has been an ETREMELY NEGATIVE CHANGE!

  • AryLoyds

    This animal must be sent back to Daura , too bad another one (Criminal) is about to replace him

  • Chuma Anierobi

    Liars are ridding on the back of a dictator and hanging on propaganda as the country slides into economic confusion.

    • Tunsj

      Where were you when your hero, Jonathan, was in charge? Please think deeply before you post your trash.

      • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

        Brother, Jona left almost three years ago..we risk being dismissed as comedians if we continue to call his name when the current failure of the day is incumbent on the the present regime to address

  • APC-Kurmin Rukiki


  • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

    Where is Lai Mohammed? Is he on Christmas vacation or is he and his team mapping out the right slew of lies to counter the above?

    • Sanssouci

      Lol! bro u know the explanation nah, GEJ destroyed everything this is the reason 3 years on unemployment has doubled

      • MP-001* [Joint Chief]

        Lol bro, he might just come up with that ‘narrative’

  • thusspokez

    Nigeria’s unemployment rate worsened from 16.2 percent in the second quarter of 2017 to 18.8 percent in the third quarter of the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Friday.

    Nigeria’s unemployment rate has increased from 9.0% in 2015 to now 18.8%. In other words, it has doubled. Granted, on Nigerian Internet forums, one would think that this issue will be at the top of the daily discussions and concern, but no!

    Nigerians are more interested in tribal issues; and even when an issue has nothing to do with tribe, tribe is soon injected into it and it becomes transformed into tribal issue.

    Meanwhile unemployment continues to increase; standard of education continues to fall; privation and poverty increases; politicians continue to embezzle development funds; and corruption continues to rise – all because, there are armies of tribespeople ready to self-harm and even give their lives unconditionally, in defence of their crooked tribespersons.

    And yet ask them what their tribes have done for them, this year, this month, this week or today — in return for their self-harm –; and the nincompoops would have no answer.


      Tell that to the tribal regime in power first . People complain of tribalism because it exists ,it is a factor which affects how government is run in this country. I wish we will overnight start behavinh like the USA but it is not happening soon .

  • JB

    Let Nigeria youth declare war on politician,they are infectious disease that needs to be eradicated.if nigerian youth dont come together been from South.North.East.West and say enough is enough and put all this old school corrupt anti-humans called politicians to rest or nigeria will be destroyed in due time cos soonest all international communities will bycot us off.

    • Yego V

      Once you get rid of Dino and Saraki, others will follow

  • Peace Corps.


    Why Nigeria gets worse under BUHARI

    Nigeria will continue to sink into a complete mess because the knowledge those voted
    by Nigerians to decide the present and the future of Nigeria is roo low to ever move the
    country forward. The APC party does not have the intellectual ability to think up any new
    ideas and therefore the APC has come to the end of its tethers and can only use force,
    intimidation, bribe and arrest of party opponents to retain power without having the merits.
    APC party is an Islamist party with a sprinkle of Christians to win the votes of Christians.

    Mad Muslims are exempt from humanity since Islam is the greatest threat
    to world peace – a bane and a burden on humanity mistaken as a religion;
    a thoroughgoing outlawry in rituals of bloodletting without thinking-process
    or concern for others. Islam is genocide by another name. “It is not a religion,”
    said the government of Angola which has banned Islam nationwide, “it is a cult
    of hate-breeders”. Islam is the opposite of reasoning, a beastly activity at
    baseless superciliousness. It spreads smells and filth wherever it goes and
    leaces the lands slick in blood. Nobody can reason properly within the matrix
    of Islam, because Islam is a roadblock to the advancement of logic.

    • Celstine U.

      @thusspokez:disqus ;

      If the knowledge of the APC party Nigerians voted to power is too low, how about common sense?
      Should APC people not have any common sense too? We all know that illiterates and school cert
      failures make up the leadership of APC and that is why we rejected APC totally in my own state.

      Those who voted for APC should stop crying crocodile tears. They too need to have some common sense.
      Anybody that cannot pass WAEC can never rule Nigeria with knowledge. So if Yoruba people love illiterates –
      like Bola Tinubu and Muhamadu Buhari – they should keep their illiteracy to themselves and not contaminate
      the other tribes and the other better educated people, if illiteracy is the future and the CHANGE of the Yoruba.

    • Yego V

      I warned you in 2015 but you wouldn’t listen. There you go !

  • Son of Truth

    “Let me begin by telling a story. On June 1, 2015, the day I resumed
    work as an adviser on media to President Buhari, he had admonished
    me: “Adesina, always tell me the truth. That is what I want from you. In
    this type of position I have found myself, it is very easy not to be told the
    truth. People will just tell you what they think you want to hear. But from
    you, I want the truth. As a General, I may argue, but please argue with me.
    Tell me the truth always”.

    Based on that blank cheque I’d been given, I went to the residence one
    evening last year to see the President. That was the time there was the
    deafening talk of hunger from different parts of the country. I wanted to be
    sure that the talk was not being filtered from the President. Of course, I know
    him as somebody who reads newspapers religiously, and wherever we are in the
    face of the world, he asks for media highlights from Nigeria. So, he would not
    be unaware of what Nigerians were going through. But I still wanted to raise it
    with him.

    “Mr President, there is hunger in the land, and people are
    complaining. I know the government is doing its best, but I just want you to be
    aware,” I said.

    …………….Femi Adesina

    (December 17th, 2017)

    • Repost by Popular Demand


      My people, we have spent two and half years under Muhamadu Buhari but it feels like 21 years of extreme
      suffering, just like hell fire that we read about in the Holy Bible. This Muhamadu Buhari is not it, he is a mistake
      of the head. We must change the CHANGE. Buhari has made Nigeria worse than he met it. He is an ignorant man in the idiotic class of ex-President Idi Amin of Uganda. The Muhamadu Buhari is saying he wants to run again in the year 2019 when he will be 77 years old. What an insult to the university and polytechnic graduates in Nigeria.

      A 77-year old man with no Wasc/Gce certificate wants to waste eight years of the lives of 35 million youths
      who are un-employed
      in Nigeria today.

      An armed struggle may ensue to stop that nonsense if care is not taken
      because Nigeria is not a mosque to be presided over by 77-year-old Islamist Jihadist. Buhari has surrounded
      himself with Muslims, most of them very dull and very daft. Two weeks ago, the Senate in session walked out
      Raji Fashola. The Senate said Raji Fashola is too too dull and incompetent and cannot articulate any sensible
      policy position on electricity provision. It is such empty-headed Muslims that appeal to President Buhari
      in his own fatal attraction to mediocrity and useless Islamist Jihadism causing 19% unemployment.

    • Okanlawon T. Brown


      This is very good. Femi Adesina is the media adviser of President Buhari. Therefore if Femi Adesina
      said he told President Buhari that hunger is attacking Nigerians under this useless government and
      President Buhari has done nothing to stop the hunger, it means President Buhari is a useless man.

    • Yego V

      Adesina should write this in “2000” when Buhari was not in existence

  • Myson

    How can you quote the percentage of unemployed if you do not know the actual population of the country? Some put the estimate population at 150 millions, 200 millions, 250 millions, 300 millions, 350 millions and so on. There is wide gap between 18.8% of 150 millions and 18.8% of 350 millions.

    • Yego V

      Ok we don’t have population. we just exist

  • Darlington

    #VOTEOUTBuhari. The worst government so far.

    • Sai Baba 2015


      Premium Times is the one supporting President Muhamadu Buhari to destroy Nigeria completely!!!!

      • Augustine 2000


        I am not a wicked person but I can do and undo. If any Editor inside Premium Times
        should insult me again by calling Muhamadu Buhari a man of integrity, you will see me
        in my true colours. It is lack of English that makes someone to call a rogue “a man of integrity”.

        If you don’t know the meaning of the word “integrity” you have to buy Advanced Learner’s dictionary
        and look at the meaning there.

        How can Muhamadu Buhari be a man of integrity, how, tell me! Do you want to corrupt our children
        in Nigeria that man of integrity means somebody who did not sit or pass Wasc or GCE but tells lies
        that he took the Waec exam? This is how you journalists under-develop Nigeria.

        I will not take it from you. Enough is enough! Somebody that has committed so many offences,
        to stand criminal trial, is the person you journalists are calling a man of integrity? Is that integrity?

      • sho


  • Franklin2000


    Muhamadu Buhari is the worst president Nigeria has ever had;
    the least educated, the most dishonest, the most crooked, the worst mentally lazy,
    the most bereft, the most denuded of thought-process, and, the most inarticulate,
    stammering Islamist bigot ever to enter the presidential villa, flying Fulani tribe flag.

    • Odeku


      Even the Bola Tinubu has no certificate of attendance of any primary or secondary school in this world.

      APC party of illiterates can never move Nigeria forward; ever. APC party of illiterates will destroy Nigeria.

      • Comfortkay

        Bros go immediately for medical checkup

      • kaydutch

        Bola Tinubu has PHD in stealing Lagos State property,land and collecting their taxes.

  • Gary

    So it’s up to the army of unemployed under Buhari to decide 2019 if this is the CHANGE they were sold by Buhari and his Islamist APC party.
    If they are happy with the joblessness, authoritarian rule, ethnic and religious bigotry, mass and sectarian killings, treasury looting and the rollback of the civil and democratic rights of the Nigerian people by a President who openly wonders why so many of his countrymen and women are enslaved in Libya or drowning in the Mediterranean; then by all means let them vote to return Buhari and the APC to continue.
    A people deserve the government they freely choose. Democracy does not promise the people a good leader, it merely guarantees that the choice of the majority of the people prevails.

    So if the people elect an uneducated autocrat and sectarian bigot, they will have to live with that choice. As Nigerians have experienced since 2015. Elections have consequences.

  • Jajamajaja

    This is just madness…pure evil

  • Comfortkay

    When are we going to have things straight in Nigeria? How many are Nigerian living in this country? How many are those working under the central government? How many people does each state employed? How many people are self employed?
    When we have all these data we can start talking about unemployment.

    • thusspokez

      These data sources you have named provided the data which NBS had used to calculate the unemployment rate. So, what exactly is your point?

  • Yego V

    I don’t believe you.
    Lai Mohammed said unemployment is technically wiped out. All youths are Technically employed

  • Ben

    These statistics are really scary! More than 2 million Nigerians losing their jobs in one quarter of the year 2017!! This is trouble for everyone!!! A serious reflection on these figures will send a dreadful chill into any reasonable mind. Some countries don’t even have a population of two million; that’s about the population of states like Edo, Delta, Anambra, Zamfara, Kovie, Kebbi, etc, losing their livelihood in just three months. If a tenth of that two million people happen to be family breadwinners, then just imagine the multiplier effects on the economic well being of those families; we are talking of many more millions without a source of economic livelihood. Crime will increase as a result; so also is prostitution, collapse of marriages and relationships, more economic and financial exploitations, slavery, suicidal frustrations, and anti-social behaviours. Insecurities will definitely increase; no $1Billion dollar will solve the resultant insecurities. Worse still, it doesn’t appear as if this Government realises how big a problem this is! Otherwise the Government would be pushing an economic stimulus package to arrest the attendant fallout of these level of job losses (to stimulate the economy and arrest the rising unemployment), rather than earmarking Billions for security!! Hungry Nigerians will take up arms if they can. The insecurity will not only be in the North-East, it will spread all over the country if the job losses and rising unemployment is not arrested. PLEASE , USE THE ECA TO FINANCE AN ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE FOR NIGERIA, RATHER THAN FOR FIGHTING BOKO HARAM OR INSECURITY. THE LOSS OF JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT IS A MAJOR CAUSE OF THE INSECURITY IN NIGERIA (INCLUDING BOKO HARAN, KIDNAPPINGS, ROBERIES, ETC)

  • Kenny

    That’s the “change” we brought on board in 2015. Let’s rise up unanimously in 2019 to “CHANGE THE CHANGE”