Oil-rich Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa states have the highest rates of unemployment in the country, recent unemployment data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show.
At the end of the third quarter 2017, only 1.91 million out of 4.3 million people in Rivers State’s labour force were engaged full time, meaning that they worked 40 hours a week during the period.
In Akwa Ibom State, 1.38 million people worked 40 hours a week out of 3. 31 million individuals in its labour force while 578,017 individuals worked for the same number of hours per week out of 1.26 million individuals in Bayelsa State’s labour force. Invariably, the three aforementioned states recorded 41.8 percent, 36.6 percent and 30.4 percent unemployment rates as of the end September 2017, the highest among states in the country.
Imo, 29.5 percent; Kaduna, 29 percent; Nasarawa, 28.9 percent; Abia, 28.3 percent; Plateau, 25.5 percent; Borno, 25.5 percent and Kogi , 21.4 percent complete the list of the ten states with the highest unemployment rates in the country.
In addition, Yobe, 21.4 percent; Cross River, 20.3 percent; Enugu, 20.2 percent; Edo, 20 percent; Kano, 19.7 percent, and Jigawa, 19.4 percent, all surpassed the average national unemployment rate of 18.8 percent by the end of the third quarter of 2017.
On the contrary, nine states posted single digit unemployment rate during the period of which the best performance came from Katsina State which recorded 3.2 percent unemployment rate. Osun State recorded 5.3 percent unemployment rate while Adamawa, 6.8 percent; Taraba, 7.2 percent; Zamfara, 7.6 percent; Kebbi, 8.0 percent; Bauchi, 9.1 percent , Oyo, 9.2 percent and Ogun, 9.7 percent.
“The structure of each state’s economy counts. The oil and gas sector doesn’t employ so many people when compared with the agricultural sector, which means that most of the jobs created in states in the South-South are not retail jobs. Since agricultural sector employs more people and that is the sector which is thriving now, states that invest more in agriculture will surely have lower unemployment rates,” Kemi Akinde, senior research analyst at Meristem Securities, said.
Benue State, which was under single digit unemployment rate in first and second quarters of 2017, saw its unemployment figure rise to 10.7 percent by the end of the third quarter 2017. This development has been attributed by our in-house analysts to herdsmen attacks.
In the last few months, attacks by herdsmen have wrecked havocs on states such as Adamawa, Niger, Taraba, Edo, Delta and Ondo states, leading to loss of lives, houses and farm produce.