The bureau disclosed that the rate rose from the 13.9 per cent recorded in the preceding quarter of the year under review.
According to the data released Monday by the NBS, the latest unemployment rate is 4.2 per cent higher than the rate recorded at the fourth quarter of 2015.
The NBS noted that as the number of unemployed people in the economy is growing, the number of underemployed people is also rising.
According to the report, the underemployed rate rose to 21.0 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 19.7 per cent recorded in the third quarter of the same year.
Analysts said the rise in the unemployment and underemployment rate was due to the negative economic growth recorded by the nation in 2016.
The economically active population or working age population (persons within ages 15 and 64) increased from 108.03 million to 108.59 million, which represents a 0.5 per cent increase over the previous quarter and a 3.4 per cent increase when compared to Q4 2015.
In Q4 2016, the labour force population increased to 81.15 million from 80.67 million in Q3 2016, representing an increase of 0.6 per cent in the labour force during the quarter.
Meanwhile, the total number of persons in full time employment decreased by 977,876 or 1.8 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, and decreased by 1.92 million or 3.5 per cent when compared to fourth quarter of 2015.
The number of underemployed in the labour force (those working but doing menial jobs not commensurate with their qualifications or those not engaged in fulltime work) increased by 1,109,551 or 7.0 per cent, resulting in an increase in the under-employment rate from 19.7 per cent (15.9 million persons) in third quarter 2016 to 21.0 per cent (17.03 million persons) in fourth quarter of 2016.
Similarly, in the fourth quarter of 2016, there were a total of 28.58 million persons in the Nigerian labour force that were either unemployed or under-employed compared to 27.12 million in the third quarter, 26.06 million in second quarter and 24.5 million in first quarter 2016.
The report also revealed that the unemployment and under-employment rates were higher for women than men in the fourth quarter of 2016.
During the quarter, 16.3 per cent of women in the labour force were unemployed, and a further 24.2 per cent of women in the labour force were under-employed.
On the other hand, 12.3 per cent of males were unemployed, while 17.9 per cent of males in the labour force were under-employ.