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.