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The overall unemployment rate in Nigeria hit 27.1 percent in the second quarter of 2020 as the country is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, up from the 23.1 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2018, according to the latest figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In a report reaching Xinhua on Saturday, NBS said the 27.1 percent unemployment rate represents a total number of 21,764,617 unemployed Nigerians, while young people suffered most with the highest unemployment rate of 34.9 percent among people between 15-34 years, up from 29.7 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

In the report referred to as an Abridged Labor Force Survey under COVID-19, NBS said a rise in unemployment means “the number of people searching for jobs has increased, which can occur because people previously outside the labor force have decided to join the labor force and are now in search of jobs. Or people previously working have lost their jobs and are now in search of jobs”.

According to the report, the total number of people in employment during the reference period is 58,527,276, showing a 15.8 percent reduction in employment in the third quarter of 2018.

Of this number, 35,585,274 were full-time employed, who worked for 40 hours or more per week, while 22,942,003 were under-employed and worked between 20 to 29 hours per week.

The number of persons in the economically active or working age population (15-64 years of age) during the second quarter of 2020 was 116,871,186, representing 1.2 percent higher than the figure recorded in the third quarter of 2018.

According to the latest NBS figures, rural dwellers suffered higher unemployment rate (28 percent) than urban dwellers(25.4 percent).

Local observers attributed the rise in unemployment to a great extent to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has suppressed economic activities across the country amid lockdown measures. Enditem

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