The rate at which unemployment has made our young men and women to roam the streets in search of jobs that they are well trained and qualified to do is alarming. Indeed, the progress and development of any country depends on the strength of its labor force.
The effects of unemployment on the Nigerian youths and the society at large cannot be under estimated, owing to the damages and dangers that it can pose to the nation’s economy and the welfare of the citizens.
UNEMPLOYMENT: Unemployment is defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as people who do not have a job, have actually looked for work in the past four weeks and are currently available for work. Investopedia defines unemployment as a phenomenon that occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find job. I define unemployment as a situation in which, well trained and qualified individuals of suitable ages, who are ready to work, are unable to find jobs on their fields of expertise which causes them to live without an income.
CAUSES OF UNEMPLOYMENT
There are many causes of unemployment, but the following will be given thought to, in this article.
- Slow Economic Growth: This is a condition in which the economy grows at a very slow rate. This makes the labor market very tight. At this period in the economy, unemployment will be at its peak. The weak economic growth suggests that there is no proper circulation of money for employers to pay their employees which makes it difficult for people to be employed at all.
- Increase in Population: The large increase in the population of the country and lack of balance between the supply and demand of labor gives rise to unemployment and underemployment. With the increase in population, there has been a high demand for jobs that do not exist. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, more than 200,000 alumnae graduate from Nigerian Tertiary Institutions yearly, but only very few of them secure jobs after years of their graduation.
- Lack of industries: There are no industries to absorb the large number of people in the labor market. Lack of industries means less opportunities of being employed. If there were more industries to process our products, there would have been a greater need to employ individuals who are well qualified.
- Corruption: Nigeria is said to be the 8th most corrupt country in the world. Corruption is defined as a dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery, embezzlement of public funds for personal use. A corrupt government is one which makes use of public money to satisfy their personal and selfish needs. Corruption can be said to be one of the causes of unemployment in Nigeria because government officials are using the money which was meant to be used for building industries in the country for their selfish gratifications and as a result unemployment rate has gone sky high. Another thing is that those in power have refused to employ based on merit and have gone ahead to employ those they know or collect bribe for employment. We also hear of ghost workers in some government offices where imaginary names of workers are added to the payroll and the officials collect the salaries, this has done nothing but to increase the rate of unemployment.
EFFECTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT
- Poverty: when there is a high rate of unemployment in the society, there will also be an increase in the poverty level of those involved. Lots of people will be faced with the challenges of providing the essentials like food, clothing, and shelter for themselves without a source of income. This will also cause a high dependency rate on the government for the provision of this needs which can also affect the nation’s economy. Lots of people will find it difficult to feed themselves three times daily.
- Increase in Crime Rate: Crime and violence tend to increase because people will be pushed to do anything to survive. Crime like stealing, kidnapping, prostitution, rituals will be on the increase.
- Frustration and Disappointment: lots of people will be frustrated and disappointment will set in. low self-esteem, depression and hopelessness will continue. This might lead to suicidal thoughts and other self-inflicted injuries. The mental health of people will deteriorate.
Solution to Unemployment
- Government should invest more on the industrial sector.
- Agricultural sector also should be invested on.
- Corruption should be dealt with.
- More jobs should be created in the country.
- The educational sector should be reformed.