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       The advance learners dictionary defines unemployment as the amount of labour unused.   When a factor of production is not doing any job we say it is unemployed.   Furthermore, unemployment can also be seen as the stage where people who are qualified, available, capable and willing to work but cannot find a job to do.   In this project, we are going to concentrate mainly on the effect of unemployment on the Nigeria economy in particular.   Emphasis on labour which is the most important and active factor of production which simply means that without labour all other factors of production, will be regarded as dormant.


        Unemployment is a dangerous phenomenon to an industrialized economy system. Before now, primitive communities in Nigeria were to a large extent self sufficient and had not very low standard of living as the people share the work that has to be done and any spare time was enjoyed as leisure. 

        Nigeria people engage in the production of primary product, though these communities may suffer a general reduction in their production in the world market.

        Often we advocate for industrialization as a penance to unemployment problem, but in as much as that it is true, it is also very important to know that this industrialization coupled with the division of labour and specialization bring along with them this virus problem called unemployment to industrial progress and development.   No wonder it was the leading industrial nations that were the first to introduce schemes of social security.

        This ugly and nerve cracking canker worm which has right from time been reining its disastrous head in blood stream of the general popular of the world has been a thing of concern to great philosopher of economy and great socialist of the Olden days.   This has made them to come out with concepts, ideals, theories and approaches in trying to recommend a drug for this disease known as unemployment.

        Anyaele (1995 : 214) stated that unemployment may be defined as a situation where some people who fall within the age of the working population, capable and willing to work are unable to obtain the fitting work to do.   This work might be skilled or unskilled in nature but the problem is that it is not available at that particular time, at the right place or right source.


According to Angaele (1995 : 214) he stated that the problem is becoming Chronic without solution being in sight.  It had constituted itself intone of the worst enemies of the popular in this part of the world.  The problem has been exacerbated by the present and retrenchment unbridled by rural urban migration etc.

Unemployment as we have seen is a great problem affected by both rural and urban communities in Nigeria and has resulted to the following problems.

1)          Escalation of Crime Rate:   An aphorism says that an idle mind is the devils workshop and as a result many unemployed involve in such crime as armed robbery, prostitution, smuggling, child trafficking, touting, drug trafficking and drug addiction.  The situation is getting worse everyday because of the increasing number of unemployed.

2)          Waste of Manpower:  Unemployment especially that of graduates wastes the much needed manpower which pulls down and delays the growth of economic development of a nation like Nigeria.

3)          Threat to Peace:  The unemployed constitute available materials for political shooters, and political thugs.   And in a crime scene, they are usually the prime suspects by the police because it is believed that a jobless man is capable of doing any thing just to survive.

4)          Increase in Dependants:  The unemployed people increase the number of dependants and contribute in sapling the income of other without any gainful contributions.   In other words they are regarded as consumers who do not produce.

5)          Reduction in Investment:   Money spent in assisting or educating the unemployed should have been invested in business or the other.

6)          Leads to Migration:  This can be rural – urban or from one country to another, which creates vacuum in a nations march to economic and social development.


Rural urban migration is the movement of people from countryside or villages to cities or urban areas. Migration is a reaction to some of the prevailing conditions from the rural area to urban areas as multifarious reasons.   The causes of this migration is known as push and pull factors.   Push factors are things in the urban areas that attract people in the rural area to the cities.  While pull factor are those condition in the rural area that makes people there to always want change of life and environment for the better. Push and pull factors include the following: Lack of social amenities, availability of recreational facilities, the urban areas, education, employment opportunities, marriage, natural disaster, political reasons etc.


This will help in reducing the numbers of people that will move out of the village or countryside to cities or big towns.   To restrict this mass movement of people from rural to urban area, the following should be done by the Federal Government of Nigeria. 

  •   Establishment of industries in the rural areas.
  •   Provision of recreational facilities
  •   Improvement of our agricultural system.
  •   Establishment of higher institutions in rural 


        The problem of unemployment to the Nigeria economy is something that has to be properly checked so that a sound solid solution can be draw out.    The Federal Government of Nigeria should adopt the following measure to eradicate this problem.

  • The government should provide sound and sustainable education and staff development when education is functional and qualitative to make the recipient to be independent in thought and actions.   Staff development and training in creases the skills of the worker to meet the challenges of the time. 
  • The government should control the population of the economy. Optimum population will help to solve our unemployment problem because it will bring our population to equilibrium point so as to march with our available resources.
  • The government should provide social amenities torural areas.   This will reduce or make many schools learners to accept to work and reside in rural areas.
  • There should be creation of more states and local government.  This should be done based on the available resources in order to create more employment opportunities.
  • The government should also establish industries to create employment opportunities.


       Here, we are going to examine the types of unemployment affecting the Nigeria economy.

-       CYCLICAL UNEMPLOYMENT:        (Deficient Demand) if there is a decrease in the quantity of goods and fall in price, industries will be affected, which may cause retrenchment or lay off workers of the industries affected.   The workers affected will suffer from deficient demand or cyclical unemployment.

-       FRICTIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT:   It arises when people leave their present job with the hope of getting a new one but fail at that time.   It may be temporal or may not be depending on the prevailing economic situation.   Therefore this is the period between the time the worker left his former work and the time he gets a new one.

-       SEASONAL UNEMPLOYMENT:  This is caused by changes that after some type of work.   Workers that engage in road construction stay unemployed during rain season.   Also farmers stay idle during the period between planting and harvesting. 

-       SEARCH UNEMPLOYMENT:   This arises when some people turn down offer of work in search of better paid employment.   How long this search will last depends on the prevailing economic situation in the country.

-       VALUNTARY UNEMPLOYMENT:  This kind of unemployment occurs when some people refuse to take up a paid employment.   Instead, they decide not to do any work.   For example, some husband may order their wives not to do any type of work but to stay at home as full time house wives.

-       STRUCTURAL UNEMPLOYMENT:  This arise as a result of slight change in the industrial structure of a country.   Workers will be retrenched as a result of the prevailing condition.   Sometimes, this occurs when some industries or firm embark on a capital-intensive mode of production instead of labour intensive. Consequent, demand for labour (manpower) will now be replace with the use of machine.


Schiller B. R. (1974) The Economic of Poverty and Discrimination Jersay Practice Hall. Inc.

 Anyalele Intia (1995) Comprehensive Economic for Secondary Schools.  3rd Edition 4 Johnson L.T.D

 Hustin Ejili (1998) Basic Economic for Tertiary Institution 2nd Edition.

 Egbo Vin .O. (2002) Introduction to Business Method in Nigeria.

 Odoh Nick .N. (2004) Public Finance for Polytechnics. J. T. C. Publishers.