A whopping 20.9 million Nigerians are currently unemployed, up from the figure of 17.6 million obtainable in the last quarter of 2017.

According to data released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the spike in unemployment between the last quarter of 2017 and the third quarter of 2018 is 3.3 million.

The latest NBS report, which contains the employment trends from Q4 2017 to Q3 2018, revealed that the working-age population — that is, people aged 15 to 64 — increased from 111.1 million to 115.5 million.

The report states that the total number of people in full-time employment — that is, those who work at least 40 hours a week —  increased from 51.1 million in Q3 2017 to 51.3 million in Q3 2018.

“The total number of people classified as unemployed, which means they did nothing at all or worked too few hours (under 20 hours a week) to be classified as employed increased from 17.6 million in Q4 2017 to 20.9 million in Q3 2018,” the report said, explaining that of the 20.9 million people who were unemployed, 8.77 million were first-time job seekers, 0.93 million people were unemployed because they lost their jobs, while 11.1 million were working for less than 20 hours a week.

On the bright side, though, the report confirmed that even though the total number of people in part-time employment (or underemployment) decreased from 13.20 million in Q3 2015 to 11.19 million in Q3 2016, it increased to 18.02 million in Q3 2017 and to 18.21 million in Q3 2018.

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