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CSJ Discredits New Unemployment Report, Citing Flawed Methodology



The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) methodology for assessing unemployment levels in Nigeria has been met with strong reservations by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).

In response to the recent unveiling of the Nigeria Labour Force Statistics (NLFS) Report, the CSJ has expressed significant concerns regarding the NBS’s provided data, asserting that it does not align with the actual economic reality.

The CSJ has raised objections to the NBS’s assertion that unemployment underwent a decrease from 5.3% in Q4 2022 to 4.1% in Q1 2023.

In contrast to these reported figures, the CSJ has brought attention to the escalating unemployment crisis in Nigeria as indicated by the preceding 2020 report, which pointed to an unemployment rate of 33.3%. This increase in joblessness has been fueled by various economic hardships, encompassing factors such as inflation, the closure of manufacturing plants, and prevailing security concerns.

Eze Onyekpere, Lead Director of CSJ, criticized the NBS’s definition of “employed,” which includes individuals working just one hour weekly or engaged in low-productivity self-employment.

“The whole basis of a job report is to help the government to determine whether its plans, policies and laws geared at reducing unemployment are achieving the desired milestones”
“What is the point of a job report that tells the government that more Nigerians are employed when it is a clear and notorious fact that unemployment is increasing?”
“The NBS is counting people who are working for at least one hour in a week or who are self-employed in low-productivity activities as ‘employed,’”
“This is not an accurate reflection of the reality of the Nigerian labor market.”
“Simply to satisfy a fad, it is a waste of tax payers money to produce a report that adds no value to the Nigerian people and their economy”.
He labeled this classification inaccurate and urged the NBS to reassess its methodology to better represent the employment challenges faced by Nigerians.

“This reported rate is incongruent with the economic challenges faced by a significant percentage of the population. “We call on the NBS to reconsider its methodology and ensure that it accurately captures the full spectrum of employment challenges faced by Nigerians.
It is essential that job reports reflect the realities and provide an honest assessment of the economic landscape. Only through accurate data can the government develop effective strategies that deliver on its promises and address the pressing issues facing our nation,” Onyekpere said.
CSJ underscored the importance of accurate employment data for effective government planning and policy evaluation.

The reported 4.1% unemployment rate was deemed incongruent with the widespread economic challenges. CSJ called on the NBS to refine its approach, ensuring a more comprehensive understanding of employment issues.

It further urged the government to focus on generating quality employment opportunities and enhancing citizens’ livelihoods.