The widely expected Q4’20 unemployment data was released this afternoon, showing an increase of 6.2% to 33.4%. This makes Nigeria the country with the 3rd highest rate of unemployment in the World after Bosnia and Herzegovina (33.69%) and the 2nd highest in Africa next to Namibia (33.4%).
This data point will be very disturbing to policy makers after the stimulus package of N2.3trn (4% of GDP) and the recent greatly heralded exit from recession. It is more worrisome when conflated with the high level of multidimensional poverty of 64.8% in the Northwest, as this shows a simmering crisis of poverty, unemployment, debt and productivity in Nigeria. The cheery news, however, is that underemployment declined by approximately the same magnitude 5.8% as the increase in unemployment.
We expect unemployment to rise at a slower pace in the coming quarters. Our projection is 35% in Q1 2021.
In the download and link, the FDC Think-Tank analyzes the unemployment numbers for Q4’20 and its macroeconomic implications on policy and business.
Do enjoy your read…