PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC)Nigeria has estimated the country’s unemployment rate to reach 30 per cent by the fourth quarter (Q4), 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics’ (NBS) Labour Force Survey, Nigeria’s unemployment rate was 27 per cent in Q2, 2020, four percentage points higher than the 23 per cent reported in Q3, 2018.
The company, in its report, ‘Nigeria Economic Alert’ stated that, this is the first time in six quarters that the country’s unemployment data has been published.
The company said, the under employment rate was 29 per cent, which was higher than the 20 per cent recorded in Q3, 2018. When combined, 52 per cent of the labour force is either without jobs or working below their potential.
“Some of the factors that account for the rise in the unemployment and under employment rates include the low level of industrialisation in the country, slow economic growth, low employability and quality of the labour force, slow implementation of the national labour policy, in addition to lack of coordinating labour policies at the sub-national level,” it pointed out.
PwC Nigeria estimated that unemployment could reach 28 per cent in Q3, 2020 and 30 per cent by Q4, 2020.
The company stressed that “This estimate is based on the following assumptions: an estimated real GDP of about N280,000 is required to absorb a single employed person from Q2, 2020 to Q4, 2020 due to the economic effects of COVID19.
“We assume that the GDP will shrink by 5.4 per cent (IMF). The labour force could grow to over 80 million by Q4, 2020.”
On the way forward, the firm stated that the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is not easy to solve, but PwC believes there is a path forward.
According to the company, for a start, there must be a commitment to labour programmes enshrined in the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) and the National Employment Policy.