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Top 15 States with high Unemployment Rates in Nigeria

Top 15 States with high Unemployment Rates in Nigeria – Unemployment remains one of the major economic challenges facing Nigeria today. According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s unemployment rate rose to 33.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020, implying that about 23.2 million Nigerians remain unemployed.Top 15 States with high Unemployment Rates in Nigeria

With the youth population growing rapidly, the unemployment problem has continued to worsen over the years. The most affected states are mainly in the North, where insecurity and loss of agricultural lands to the insurgency have disrupted economic activities. However, some states in the South are also grappling with high unemployment rates due to factors like rural-urban migration and a lack of industries to absorb the teeming youth population.

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This article provides a comprehensive overview of the top 15 states with the highest unemployment rates in Nigeria as of 2020, according to data from the NBS. An analysis of the possible reasons for high joblessness in these states is also provided.

The Top 15 States with High Unemployment Rates in Nigeria are:

1. Imo State – 48.7%

Imo state, located in the South-Eastern part of Nigeria has an estimated unemployment rate of 48.7%. With a population of over 4.9 million people, the grim unemployment situation in Imo stems from a lack of employment opportunities to match the rapidly growing labour force.

Years of neglect of the local manufacturing sector as well as minimal commercial activities have left many idle youths with no jobs. The ban on motorcycles in local governments in the state has also deprived many young people of their source of livelihood.

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2. Akwa Ibom State – 45.2%

Akwa Ibom is one of the highest oil-producing states in Nigeria. However, it ironically has one of the highest unemployment rates at 45.2%. With a population of over 5 million people, the state has remained largely a civil service state.

The neglect of the agricultural and manufacturing sectors means the majority of educated young people have no opportunities for employment or entrepreneurship. Rural-urban migration has also led to an influx of job seekers into Uyo and other major cities, leading to scarce jobs.Good morning My Love Message

3. Rivers State – 43.7%

Rivers State, endowed with oil wealth, still battles with high unemployment estimated at 43.7% as of 2020. The volatile political environment and insecurity in the state have led to the closure of many major companies and factories over the years. This has robbed many people of job opportunities.

The commercial city of Port Harcourt and other major towns also continue to witness an influx of rural migrants seeking white-collar jobs. Competition for limited positions has led to many remaining unemployed long after graduation.

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4. Benue State – 43.5%

Benue is an agrarian state with most residents being farmers. However, it is plagued with high unemployment levels of about 43.5%. Factors like rural banditry, farmer-herder clashes, flooding and loss of farmlands have disrupted agricultural activities – the mainstay of the local economy.

With farming activities hampered and no major industries, securing jobs has remained difficult for the majority of residents, especially fresh graduates. More action is required to boost both agriculture and industrialization in the state.NYSC Portal

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5. Zamfara State – 41.7%

Zamfara state is one of the poorest states in Nigeria, with over 70% of residents living below the poverty line. Years of illegal gold mining activities have left vast farmlands destroyed, depriving farmers of their livelihood.

Banditry and kidnapping have also scared away potential investors, with many factories shutting down operations. With farming disrupted and no major industrial activity, Zamfara has an estimated unemployment rate of 41.7% as of 2020. Creating economic opportunities in agriculture and mining can help resolve this.

6. Jigawa State – 41.2%

Jigawa is an agrarian state with most of the labour force engaged in subsistence agriculture. However, years of rural banditry, flooding and the use of poor farming methods have kept agricultural productivity and food security low.

With low agriculture incomes and a lack of modern manufacturing industries, unemployment remains high at 41.2%. Promoting climate-smart farming and building agro-processing factories can create mass jobs for the teeming youth population.

7. Taraba State – 36.17%

Taraba state has huge agricultural potential with vast fertile lands for crops like rice, maize, sugar cane and potatoes. However, frequent clashes between herdsmen and local farmers have hampered farming activities and food production over the years.

With agriculture disrupted and no major industrial presence, unemployment has remained critically high at an estimated 36.17%. Improving security in rural areas and investing in agro-processing plants can expand job opportunities.

8. Gombe State – 34.94%

Gombe in Nigeria’s northeast has an estimated unemployment rate of 34.94%. Years of Boko Haram insurgency in the region led to the closure of major factories and enterprises, while agricultural lands were left abandoned. This robbed many people of their sources of income.

With farming activities only slowly picking up and few industries operational, finding jobs has remained difficult for many residents. An aggressive industrialization drive and support for farmers can improve Gombe’s employment situation.

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9. Kebbi State – 34.67%

Kebbi is renowned as agricultural state, known for the massive production of rice, maize, millet and sorghum. However, the state has struggled with huge unemployment rates of about 34.67% as of 2020. Years of flooding, rural violence and massive use of poor farming methods have hampered agricultural productivity.

With low farming incomes and minimal industrial presence, joblessness has continued to afflict the state. Mechanizing agriculture and moving into large scale commercial farming can expand economic opportunities.

10. Kano State – 31.2%

Kano has been a major commercial and agro-industrial hub in northern Nigeria for decades. However, the unemployment situation in Kano worsened in recent years due to factors like rural-urban migration, insecurity, counterfeit products hurting manufacturers and neglect of farming.

The unemployment rate in Kano state is estimated at 31.2% as of 2020. Boosting industrial output, enforcing intellectual property rights and supporting commercial agriculture can help revive job creation in Kano.

11. Nasarawa State – 31.06%

Nasarawa state, located in north central Nigeria, has huge agricultural potential given its vast fertile lands. However, lack of irrigation and flooding hamper farming, while a lack of agro-allied industries means added value is not derived from farm produce.JAMB portal

Unemployment is aggravated by the state’s proximity to Abuja, leading to huge rural-urban migration. An estimated 31.06% of Nasarawa’s labor force remains unemployed. Developing agriculture and building industries will be crucial.

12. Bayelsa State – 30.24%

Bayelsa is one of Nigeria’s major crude oil producing states with most of its revenues coming from petroleum. However, unemployment is estimated at about 30.24% due to an over-dependence on the civil service and oil.

Major private enterprises are lacking in the state. Developing the agricultural and tourism potential of Bayelsa and establishing factories can massively expand job opportunities for residents.

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13. Bauchi State – 30.01%

Bauchi is located in Nigeria’s northeast, which is plagued by insurgency. But beyond terrorism, agriculture remains Bauchi’s economic mainstay. However, due to poor irrigation, rural violence, flooding and poor techniques, farming has underperformed.

With no major industries, unemployment stands at 30.01% as of 2020. Mechanizing agriculture and tapping into mineral resources can spur job creation.Information guide Nigeria

14. Kogi State – 28.81%

Blessed with iron ore, coal and other minerals, Kogi has huge potential for rapid industrialization. But mismanagement and policy inconsistency have led to underdevelopment of the state’s rich resources. Agriculture also remains largely small scale and plagued by flooding and violence.

Unemployment rate is estimated at 28.81%. With the right policies and actions, Kogi’s huge economic potential can be unlocked to massively expand employment.

15. Plateau State – 26.15%

Jos, the capital of Plateau State is renowned as a major mining hub in Nigeria. But despite its solid mineral riches, the state has grappled with high joblessness estimated at 26.15% as of 2020. Insecurity, policy flip-flops and poor infrastructure have hampered mining productivity.

Modernizing agriculture and strategically harnessing solid minerals to build industries will expand job opportunities in the state.Romantic love message

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Nigeria’s high unemployment rate remains a key impediment to the country’s economic growth aspirations. Tackling the joblessness crisis requires aggressive strategies by all tiers of government to implement growth-enhancing policies, build infrastructure and create an environment that supports private enterprise.

With the right mix of policies, investments and innovation, Nigeria can unlock abundant opportunities in sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, services, technology etc that can productively engage its teeming youth population. The time to act decisively is now.


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