More than a quarter of Nigeria’s workers were not in the labour force in the second quarter of this year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Friday, in the country’s first unemployment data published since 2018.
According to the NBS, the unemployment rate stood at 27.1% in the second quarter. It stood at 23.1% in the previous report, which dates back to the third quarter of 2018. Second-quarter unemployment among young people aged 15-34 was the highest at 34.9%.
Nigeria has been hard-hit by the fallout from the new coronavirus pandemic, grappling not only with its own outbreak, but also from a plunge in oil prices after lockdowns worldwide. The country had 48,116 confirmed cases and 966 deaths as of Friday.
Nigeria entered the pandemic without having fully recovered from a 2016 recession that left more than 13 million people unemployed.
The World Bank has warned Nigeria faces a recession that will be “much more pronounced” than in 2016 and potentially the nation’s worst financial crisis in four decades.