Nigeria Changes How It Measures Unemployment After Two Years of No Data

Nigeria is changing the way it measures unemployment and plans to begin issuing new quarterly data from May, after a two-year lull.
Africa’s largest economy last released labor-force statistics for the last quarter of 2020, when it put the unemployment rate at 33.3%. Subsequent surveys have been “irregular due to technical challenges,” the statistics agency said Friday in a presentation on its website. 
The new measure removes a previous age limit of 64 and will now include anyone aged 15 and above. In addition, anyone who works at least 40 hours a week, even if on a temporary basis, will be considered employed, the agency said.
A wider definition of underemployment has been adopted to include anyone working less than 40 hours, but who is “willing and available to work more.”  The statistics agency said it worked with the World Bank on the redesign of the method to calculate unemployment data to ensure that it’s “in line with international best practice.”
The new method measures labor underutilization beyond unemployment and provide a framework for measurement of all work, paid and unpaid, the statistics agency said. The figures will tell an “unbiased story of the Nigerian labour market statistics as it should be told,” the agency said. 

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