High Rate Of Unemployment In Nigeria: The Consequence On Human Resource Management

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Lawanson, O. I
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The level of unemployment is a mirror image of the state of a nation’s economy. Unemployment is the most exigent question facing policy makers and governments in recent times. Lack of gainful employment ranked high in the list of socio-political problems confronting Nigeria at present. In Nigeria, over-dependence of the economy on oil brought a boom in the 1970s while economic recession set in since 1981. The recession has since had a very significant implication for the utilization of the country’s human resources, leading to high level of unemployment. The problem has aggravated in the nation to the extent that many university graduates could not secure jobs, let alone school leavers. According to the Federal Office of Statistics survey carried out in 1984, graduates from tertiary institutions formed 3.8% of the unemployed persons for urban areas, this rose to 9.9%, 16.5% and 20.8% in 1995, 1996 and 1998 respectively. Information from the survey also shows that out of the present output from the educational system entering the labour market as at 1996 which was 2.8 million, only 0.3 million were absorbed into the labour market. The problem seems to be two-fold showing both demand and supply side. On the demand side, not only are there inadequate jobs for youths but also the increasing decline in quality of education and training, thus making many youths unemployed. On the supply side, the inability of the government to adequately finance the nation’s educational enterprise has led to deteriorating infrastructural facilities and discouraging personal emoluments for teachers. (Though the situation has improved a bit in recent times). It was discovered that despite various government policies and programmes aimed at reducing unemployment among the youths and adults, the problem of unemployment remains unabated. Further, economic analysis shows that low real wage among other things will induce employment – this situation seems to be otherwise in the case of Nigeria. Despite the relatively low real wage, the economy cannot still create employment for considerable part of manpower resources. Generally, this study is meant to examine the pervasiveness of unemployment problem in the Nigerian economy. Unemployment has been found to reduce national wealth. Increase in crime waves and socio-political violence can also be attributed to the high level of unemployment especially among the youths. The growing incidence of poverty in Nigeria can also be linked to the worsening unemployment situation. This study is therefore necessary to give insight into how unemployment can be reduced to the barest minimum.
Conference Papers
Unemployment, Economy , Management, Socio-Political
Lawanson, O. I (2007) High Rate Of Unemployment In Nigeria: The Consequence On Human Resource Management Being text of paper presented at the 7th Global Conference on Business & Economics in Rome, Italy