The unemployment report from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS covered January to September 2016.
According to the report, unemployment was highest for persons in the labour force between the ages of 15-24 and 25-34, representing the youth population in the labour force and for the 25 to 34 age group, the unemployment rate increased from 12.9 per cent at the beginning of the year to 15 percent as of the end of September.
The NBS report stated that financial experts have warned that the preference for imported items by many Nigerians, if left unchecked, could worsen the unemployment situation.
The report stated, “The number of unemployed Nigerians rose from 9.48 million at the beginning of the year to 11.19 million by September ending.
“While the number of those employed rose marginally from 69 million at the beginning of the year to 69.47 million by September ending, the labour force population rose by 2.18 million from 78.48 million to 80.66 million.
“The unemployment rate was highest for those within the ages of 15 to 24, rising from 21.5 percent in the beginning of the year to 25 percent as of September ending this year.
“Unemployment and underemployment were higher for women than men in the third quarter of 2016; while 15.9 percent of women in the labour force were unemployed as of the third quarter ending this year, a further 22.9 per cent of women in the labour force were underemployed.
“On the other hand, 12 percent of males were unemployed in the third quarter of 2016, while 16.7 percent of males in the labour force were underemployed during the same period.
“Given that the nature of rural jobs is largely menial and unskilled, such as in agriculture and the likes, unemployment is more of a concern in urban areas where more skilled labour is required.
“The unemployment rate in the urban areas was 18.3 percent compared to 11.8 per cent in the rural areas, as the preference is more for formal white collar jobs, which are located mostly in urban centres,” the report added.