Female unemployment rate in Nigeria as of Q4 2020 increased to 35.2% from 31.6% recorded in Q2 2020. This is according to the recent labour force report, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to the report, a total of 61.63 million women were in the working population (15 – 64 years of age) as of Q4 2020 accounting for 50.5% of the total working population.
However, only 30.15 million of these women were willing and able to work i.e labour force, which represents about 43.3% of the total labour force in the period under review.
Distributing women in the working population by their age groups, women within the age bracket of 15-24 years were the largest, accounting for 30% (18.48 million) of the total women in the working population.
Women within 25-34 years followed closely with about 17.98 million being in the working population, while 12.79 million women in the working population were within the age bracket of 35-44 years.
The numbers however started to drop significantly in the older age ranges as only 7.94 million women in the working population were between 45-54 years of age.
Similarly, women in the working population between 55-64 years stood at 4.43 million as of Q4 2020.
It is worth noting that out of the 30.15 million women in the workforce during the period under review, a total of 10.61 million women were unemployed indicating a female unemployment rate of 35.2%. The under-employment rate of women during the period was however lower, standing at 24.2%.
The Q4 2020 female unemployment rate of 35.2% is a rise from the 31.6% recorded as at the last time the labour force report was released by the NBS, although the under-employment rate declined from 31.0% in Q2 2020 to 24.2% in Q4 2020.
A closer look at the numbers showed that women in the labour force fell from 38.63 million in Q2 2020 to 30.15 million in Q4 2020.
The latest unemployment figures show that despite the relatively equal representation of the female gender in the working population, women accounted for just 43.3% in terms of labour force as against 47.7% for males.
Also, considering the number of fully employed and underemployed labour force, females accounted for 40% and 45.9% respectively.
Meanwhile, the total number of unemployed females stood at 10.61 million (35.2%) relative to 12.58 million unemployed males (31.8). This shows that more females in the working population in Nigeria are either unable or unwilling to work as at the reference period.