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Adeniran: New 4.1% Unemployment Rate Based On New Methodology, Not Economic Phenomenon

The NBS CEO stated said persons above the age of 64 will now be considered in the labour force.

The CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Samiu Adeyemi Adeniran, spoke on the recently reported drop in unemployment rate between the third quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of 2023.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s unemployment rate fell to 4.1% in the first quarter of 2023 from 5.3% in the fourth quarter of 2022. This was mentioned in a report titled ‘Nigeria Labour Force Statistics Report Q4 2022 & Q1 2023’ issued by the NBS on Thursday. According to the NBS, it has improved its approach for gathering labour market statistics via the Nigeria Labour Force Survey (NLFS) in accordance with International Labour Organisation (ILO) criteria.

In an AISE NEWS interview on Thursday, Mr. Samiu stated that the change in statistics is not necessarily a drop in unemployment, but actually based on a newly adopted methodology in the nation. He stated that this method now takes into account those above the age of 64 and excludes persons who are not actively within the labour force or plan on engaging in it.

“We are not saying that it dropped from 33.3% to 4.1% because if you say that it means that there had been some improvement in the economy that absorbed people that made unemployment go down. It’s not that.

“before the working age population was between 15-64 years, whereas it was only in Nigeria we were using that and maybe in one or two other countries. but all our neighbouring countries, Ghana, Togo, Benin republic, Cameroon, they aren’t using that. That is an old standard that is set by ILO which Nigeria is a signatory to that convention.

“When it came to reality that people work after the age of 64, and they contribute immensely to the economy of the country, and we are saying that all the contribution of those people above ages  64 aren’t captured as being employed, we came together all over the world and said ‘this can no longer be sustained.’”

“About 26 other african countries have already adopted that new methodology and I can say that Nigeria is even coming behind in adopting it by this time. Now what we have is 15 years and above.”

The calculation is based on those in the Labour Force who are actively willing to work with proper qualifications and what sectors would need to be encouraged to take in more personnel. The labour force would then be calculated by taking into consideration employed persons who work for an hour plus within the last 7 days for pay or profit. The employed who are also temporarily absent, and also the unemployed who are available and searching for jobs.

According to Mr Adeniran who is the Statistician-General of the Federation, he said, “The data is not stating that those who are 64 and above are contributing more to the economy. The data is saying anyone that is engaged in an activity, it’s it better to cover them, study them so we have a broad and holistic information about what is happening in the labour market? That is the only way the Government can be able to plan properly.”

He also added that the new date would be effective in aiding the government to improve the creation of Social security and  planning for senior citizen commissions in Nigeria.

Glamour Adah

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