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Unemployment in our Society


Unemployment in Our Society”.  Unemployment is just a common household word in Our Society.  Many individual today are unemployed not because they are not fit for any job or that they lack the knowledge, the   answer to this problem is unemployment.  Many able-bodied young men and women remains unemployed after wasting a good number of years in school.  A waste in the sense that after what seems like size years in school come out just to find yourself doing nothing to the extent of living without hope.
Unemployment can be said to be two types which is voluntary and involuntary unemployment which of the most of our citizens do tall into.  It is involuntary unemployment because most workers are said  to be involuntarily unemployed if they would be willing to work for the prevailing (or slightly lower) real ways but are unable to find jobs.
In the main chapters we are going to see the main effects of the ugly situation and if possible how to arrest this ugly situation to increase the standard of living in Our Society.  Moreover, we shall see the various effects of this situation and its possible solution.

The term unemployment has been freely used in many quarters without giving consideration to the meaning.  At various points,    it has been regarded by many as situation that depicts a glaring lack of employment opportunities fall in a given country.   This is today that many people view unemployment as people without work.
According to Oxford advanced dictionary, unemployment is defined as the amount of unused labour.  However this definition appears to  be vague in that it fails to show the kind of caused labour.   A better accepted definition is given  by an Encyclopedia American International vol. On according to this renowned reference book unemployment in a literal sense means all persons without work”.   But down to earth definition of specific meaning in contemporary discussion of economic policy is that “unemployment’  according to this same reference book,  means only those persons not at work for more than a specific minimum period of time and who are, more over,   able and willing and also actively seeking work are considered to  be truly unemployed.
According to R.G. Lipsey (1983)  “The employed are those persons working for a wage or salary while the self employed are those who for themselves”.   Moreover, the employed are those persons who are not employed but who, by some measure or another are looking for a job.


In construction industries of contract jobs which rely heavily on manual labour, workers are temporarily laid off at the end of major assignments. Such workers are re-engaged when other jobs become available.  Others may drift to other on going projects in factories where re-organization takes place, workers are also laid off.  This type of unemployment which is regarded as normal is of short duration and does not cause violent repercussions in the economy.

Seasonal unemployment occurs in industries or activities that are seasonal in nature – such activities engaged  in labour temporarily during the peak periods – for example, during the Christmas season, shop owners and companies employ extra hands for the seasonal sales.  These extra hands are usually students and house wives in some occupations, such as fishing and building, many men go out to work during bad weather.  Fishing for example, is not usually done during the rainy season in many parts of Nigeria.

There is frictional unemployment when certain occupations have surplus workers in one part of the country, while vacancies for similar jobs occur and are not filled in other parts of the country.  Labour immobility and imperfect knowledge of the existence of job opportunities elsewhere are the main causes of frictional unemployment.

Structural unemployment results from the changes in the pattern of aggregate demand and in the techniques of industry.  This is more of a long term phenomenon that either seasonal or frictional unemployment.  As time goes by, there may be a permanent fall in the demand for certain products which may be due to changes in tastes.  The brick industry in Nigeria is a good example, people prefer to use cement blocks to build their house and offices.  Thus, there has been a sharp decline in the demand for bricks, which has caused unemployment in the industry.  Most Nigeria industries that used imported raw materials have either shut down or are not producing at full capacity – this is because, the prevailing economic situation has made the importation of raw materials and machinery difficult or impossible.  The result has been mass retrenchment and unemployment of workers.  Also new techniques involving the use of sophisticated machinery can lead to redundant labour and hence unemployment.


Generally, unemployment can emerge in a nation as a result of many factors it can, at times occurs, when some industries employ casual labour which is needed only intermittently, a very big example or this type of industry is a contracting prim when it has a lo to do, it takes on extra workers and when it has less to do,  it dismisses them.   When these workers are dismissed they may stay unemployed if they do not find something doing immediately.   Unemployment can, as well, occur when the government fails to invest.  Frederic,   

Benham (1960),  Described investment to mean adding to physical assets of the community, improving its land (for example, by the irrigation project or by opening up new mines),  contracting or improving roads and railways,  ports and harbors,  and airports putting up move buildings, adding to its plant and machinery, increasing its stock of goods.     If the government will invest in this case,  these  be increased in productivity and as a result more people will be employed not only that, these will be increased in the income of people which will also encourage them to save, for example.   Suppose that investments reviews after a period of depression and unemployment,  move workers and employed in the investment,  unemployment will result as well as low income and savings unemployment can as well result when there is radical changes in the methods of production of an industry which enables fewer workers to produce the same output for example if there is an introduced mechanized system of production, machines will do more of the work while these will be less to be done by human beings.
Another factor that contributes to the  cause of unemployment,  is the problem of ignorance of available opportunities and immobility of labour.  It has been said that of all baggage,  human baggage is the most difficult to transport.  Married workers find the cost of moving prohibitive or cannot afford to give up their homes because of the difficulty of obtaining equivalent  accommodation in the new area.  Many people are now unemployed as a result of the above factors.
    Unemployment can also be as a result of increase in the production of a particular country.  This is because the number of industries to absorb the people concerned are limited.  The number are small because of the in looking  industrialization strategy of import substitution which is not dynamic of graduates from our vastly expanded educational facilities.  Another major cause of unemployment in our society today is colonial factor.   In this situation,  Nigeria was found to be dependence,  little efforts was made to improve the rate of industrialization.   The structure of education then was such that Nigerians were oriented to while collar jobs, no vocational schools were established to train technicians.


    It is however disastrous and painful for one to spend a number of years in schools and higher institutions only to  be confronted by unemployment at the end of it all. In trying to analyze the problems of unemployment in our society, C.Udenwa (1984) noted that, “being without a job  can have devastating effects on an individual.  The world seems suddenly dull after the NYSC period,  thoughts about the future makes one uneasy many people sponsor themselves through their education by borrowing or managing  one thing or the other with hope of paying back with money or  reclaiming their property when they  get a job.  Also a lot of parents deny themselves almost everything to see that their children are trained in the school with the hope of enjoying after they children gets employed.   This seriously reduce the standard of living and saving potentials  of  the parents concerned.  When such people fail to get job later on, they become frustrated to help in their academic pursuance becomes disappointed.
    This can  even lead to their  untimely death if they are old parents.  Writing on the latent effect of unemployment.  Oluwatemi (1987), illustrated “the period of unemployment to be a period of loneliness”.  When the person concerned is left alone after people engaged in one thing or he other  might have gone to their business.   The solitude can afford him only one thing.   The opportunity to think.   It is also being said that an idle  mind is a devil’s workshop C. Nwachukwu (1984), pointed out that “many parents have even withdrawn their children from schools because their older children who passed through the school system have no job.


The effects of unemployment among  youths in our society, has been of the major center- worn disturbing in our society so much that a number of public debates,  discussions and conferences   have been held,  aimed at eliminating it,  in order to save this country from the ugly situation we  hereby introduce policy recommendation.
First, our state government should try to improve its educational system.  The new educational system which  is supposed to train the head,  hand and mind must be given a room to succeed.  In the school system today, crate, professional courses, trade etc should to taught.  Talents should be discovered and tapped in time.  Prospective students should be interviewed and sent to where their interest lies, independent and self- reliance should be inculcated in our children early.
Secondly, the state government should embark on serious reduction in the educational demand and supply.   This means that the supply of educational institutions should be in  line with the state.  
Thirdly, the government should do something to those who like breaking laws  and thinking that expatriates are knowledgeable and more skilled than fellow indigenes.
Fourthly, professionals who graduated in one field of the other should be supported by giving some loans as to boast off something.  This will seriously help to boost self employment.
Fifthly, in order to solve the problems of barriers to labour mobility the government should try to develop the rural- urban migration which is one of the causes of unemployment.  Youths are found more in urban  areas than in the rural areas because the former is move developed and with more fail life’s than the latter.
Sixthly,  since many of the Nigerians are employed more in the agricultural sector,  the government should also  try to provide more credit facilities in this area as to create more employment  opportunities for the youths.
On the other hand, individuals in the state should try to co-operate as to solve unemployment problems.  They should learn to be patriotic and not selfish for example those of them who are rich in our society should use their money to establish industries as to employ people, and not to transfer their abroad, buy expensive cars and other luscious materials that can distinguish them as rich men in the society.  They should now be meant to understand that material acquisition is not everything and honour and service count more than money in ones life.  
Lastly organizations like social clubs, religions organizations etc should embark on establishing small scale industries and if possible, vocational centre.


With the alarming and in controllable trend at which unemployment is fast growing in this state.  One is tempted to conclude that we are leading to wards a tight corner, which, if no drastic approach is geared towards checking much more problems are abound to come up as after match.   As initially  said, one thing we should know is that the more the number of unemployed youths  are let loose into the streets,  the more the chances are that a social time bomb is steadily gradually, but surely  being diffused.  
    As already said, it should be noted that no government, whatever other numerous  achievements it can boost of cannot justifiably claim good governance or that is    has  performed  excellently well it majority of the citizens are in the unemployment  list, left in abject lack of care and no incentives for the realization  of their respective ambitions.
    It is dis- heartening that rather than seeing the government or the ruling class giving adequate attention too the problem of unemployment,  they are busy closing industries building mentions for themselves and trafficking on   foreign exchange  etc.   In a situation like our society where corruption abound.  Nobody cares,   to take stock of what is happening in respect to the problems of youths employment.
    It is one thing to cry out for an  existing problems and on the other hand its another thing to do something to help  the situation,     otherwise it will  end up only effect of unemployment  on youths in our society has been discovered,  it is  necessary for the government of the state to plan ahead in order to find lasting solution of this problem.  
    Perhaps, this should be done through the application of these recommendations,  to round up the whole thing one  can say that the fast future of our society depends largely on how successfully she manage the problem of unemployment.


Faphunda, Eleanor. R  Population, labour utilization and man power development in Olalokutal, structure of the Nigeria Economy (Macmillan press ltd.  Lagos 1979.)

Frederic. Hanaham Economics. A General Introduction 6th Edition (London Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons,  ltd )1960.

Garraty J.A (1979)        Unemployment in History of Economic Thought and public policy (Happer and Row publishers)1971.

Hariley .J.            Modern Economics.  An Introduction for Business and professional students  3rd Edition (Macmillan press ltd) 1977.

Todaro M.P (1982)    Economics for a  developing World, 2nd Edition (UK  Longman Group ltd) 1982.

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