Labour Force rises to 78.4m in Q1- NBS
The population of labour force in Nigeria has increased to 78.4million in the first quarter of 2016 from 76.9 million in the last quarter of 2015 representing an increase in the labour force by 1.99 per cent.
The finding was contained in a report titled Unemployment/under-employment watch Q1 2016, released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
The labour force are those within the working age population that are willing and able to work and actively looking for work.
It noted that in consideration of the foregoing statistics that it can be said that Nigeria has been unable to create the 1.5 million jobs required between the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 to keep the unemployment rate constant at 10.4% in the last quarter of 2015.
That is, about additional 1,5million economically active persons within 15-64 entered the labour force between January 1 and March 31, 2016.
It stated that the new entrants into the labour market also consisted of newly qualified graduates, new entrants into the economically active population (who became 15 in Q1 2016) and those who choose not to work for whatever reasons in earlier periods , among others
The report added that within the same period, the total number of those in fulltime employment decreased by 528,148 persons or 0.97 per cent.
It explained that this category consists of people who lost their jobs and were either forced or for various reasons chose to move from full time employment to underemployment.
It stated further that the drop in full time employment between Q4 2015 and Q1 2016 was predominantly those within the ages 15-24 years , followed by ages 55-64 years, ages 45-54 years ,and ages 35-44 years .
Against the backdrop, the report noted that with an economically active or working age population of 106 million and with a labour force population of 78.4million in the first quarter of 2016, the development means that 27.5 million persons within the economically active or working age population decided not to work for various reasons in the first quarter of 2016 and consequently are not part of the labour force and cannot be technically considered unemployed or underemployed ,even though they were not working.
The report buttressed this by stating that: “You have to want to be willing to work and actively seeking work before you can be considered unemployed.”