UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG UNIVERSITY GRADUATE IN NIGERIA AS PERCEIVED BY UNDERGRADUATE IN EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY
Background to the Study
Unemployment has been described as waste of resources and could consti tute a threat to the political, economic as well as social and ethnic issues of a nation. Unemployment can be generally be referred to as the case in which the supply of workers exceeds its demand. Unemployment is the under-utilisation of labour and capital resources as a result of usual output of the economy which is below the potential gross national product (GDP) of a nation unemployment is a concomitant of GDP gap which is the difference between the actual output of a country in a particular time, usually a year and its potential output.
Economics whether in theory or in practice deals with allocation of scarce resources for the achievement of a given end and which is economic growth. In order to attain full economic growth, the national macro-economic objective, whether less developed country or developed country, price stability must be achieved. Unemployment is a great danger in an economy system which every nation or government will always try to avoid. It constitutes a threat or menace to standard of the living of the populace and a major set-back to a nation’s economic position, relative to other countries of the world. It is a situation in which a factor of production usually labour is unemployed.
The problem called unemployment is a menace which has eaten down the fabric of the society. It is conspicuously noticed among the able youths of the nation who are majorly graduates, craftsmen, artisans and Professionals in a particular field. It constitutes a waste of human effort and resources.
According to Fapounda (2001), the development of a state depends on the quantum of the resources available, the technological know-how existing for use and development of the quality factors of production.
Graduates’ unemployment is a source of high level manpower underutilization and it is so rampant due to the inadequate supply of job opportunities. Many graduates are unemployed due to the slow bureaucratic machinery for the processing of application of job.
Unemployment is a situation where an individual does not have a steady job. It may be a case that he is not able to get the type of job he wants or that he is not capable or willing to be self-employed. The splashing effect of unemployment is reflected in low output, poverty, low income, and low standard of living mal-nutrition, wastage of both human and material resources among others (Michael P. Todaro in his book titled economic development). Unemployment is perceived to be a necessary devil in terms of the types, causes, effects and magnitude among undergraduates of Ekiti State University.
Types of Unemployment Include the Following;
- Cynical unemployment: – This is perceived to occur as a result of upward and downward movement in aggregate economic activities. During boom period when prices and output are rising up, unemployment rate will be low. During depression when prices and output level are falling, unemployment rate will be high.
- Frictional unemployment: – This is seen as unemployment arising from market imperfection which creates information gap between prospective job seekers and employers of labour.
- Structural unemployment: – This is perceived to happen as a result of change in technique of production owing to technological advancement which makes the skills of workers to be obsolete, outdated and unmarketable.
- Urban unemployment: – This is seen as an amalgam of structural, cyclical and frictional unemployment with the particular characteristics that it is located in an urban area. Through rural-urban drift, there will be unemployment in urban cities.
Causes of unemployment as exemplified in enormous literature and perceived by undergraduates of Ekiti State University include the following;
- Monolithic economy: – Neglect of agriculture sector as a result of oil discovery in 70’s.
- Over-reliance on white-collar jobs: – The discovery of oil and the concomitant effect of corrupt have made able youth to jettison agriculture for white-collar job.
- Imperfect labour market information system.
- Technological advancement though, positive but government e.g. disadvantageous.
- Minimum retirement age’s legislation by the government e.g. University lectures.
- Poor curriculum development attribute to poor educational system among others.
Unemployment is said to be an economic disease whose effects include:
- Loss of output in an economy i.e. GDP gap.
- Poverty and all its associated economic problems.
- Extreme income inequality.
- Social destruction and political instability etc.
According to Ajayi (2014), the gloomy picture of unemployment for jobs situation in Nigeria is better understood the rate at which people apply for jobs in the labour market. In 2012, over 800,000 people including Ph.D. holders applied for 1,500 vacancies in the Independent Electoral Commission the Punch, December 21, 2012). It is perceived that unemployment is a cancer, a menace which had eaten down fabric of the society. Huge amount of both public and private funds have been devoted to the development of University education by the government. The fact that a considerable proportion of public capital earmarked for the development of university education explains impact of the progress made in the training of the much needed of the progress made in the training of the much needed high level manpower.
Statement of the Problem
Over the years the incidence of unemployment among graduates has been a major concern to all and sundry, especially the “would-be graduates (undergraduates) and their parents. Records have shown that more and more people seek for “greener pasture” as university graduates are being turned-out every year, the existing number of unemployed youth is increasing at alarming rate. It perceived by those who are yet to graduate that while unemployment rate increase astronomically, job opportunity increases at a decreased rate. There is a negative correlation between the numbers of graduates that while unemployment rate increases astronomically, job opportunity increases at a decreased rate. There is a negative correlation between the number of graduates who applied for job in 2012’s Dangote employment participation and the number of applicants who applied for fewer vacant positions. (The Nation November 8, 2012)
Government introduced various programmes to fight youth unemployment problems by establishing youth mobilization scheme, vocational training centre, apprenticeship programme, so as to prepare them for gainful employment among university graduates and graduates of other higher learning institutions.
A careful survey of the overall performance of the national economy would show that contrary to all expectation, there have been more or less institutionalized unemployment and has therefore made it a persistent and uncontrollable problem in Nigeria. Nigeria is complicated employment-wise by high rate of educated qualified and trained manpower that are turned-out annually by the institutions of higher learning. Those who cannot find jobs after compulsory serving of the nation swells-up the ever increasing unemployed educated youths and thereby compound the problem of unemployment.
Purpose of the Study
The study examines the undergraduates’ perception of unemployment among university graduates in Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti. The purpose of the study is to identify the various causes of unemployment among university graduate and subsequent effects on university graduate, the society at large and its concomitant impact on those that are yet to graduate (undergraduates).
The main goals have been to carry out a research that will;
- Illuminate move on the concept of unemployment.
- Unravel the types and causes of unemployment among university graduates.
- Reveal the effects and the magnitude of unemployment via participation in job searching, and,
- To suggest remedy to the policy makers and the undergraduates so as to “nip unemployment problem in the bud”.
The following research questions were raised:
- What is the correlation between career and unemployment?
- Does technological advancement positively or negatively related to unemployment?
- What is the correlation between job searching participation and available job opportunities?
- Can Government alone solve the problem of unemployment?
Significance of the study
Significance of the study is demonstrated in the following ways. It could help to bring to light the cause of high rate of unemployment among university graduates.
It could also provide insights to the effects of unemployment among graduates unemployed. The study could also provide insights into how the level of unemployment among university graduates can be reduced and the need for undergraduates to be vast in entrepreneurial skills so as to become employers of labour instead of seeking unreliable and undependable white-collar jobs. There is need for policy makers to provide enabling working environment through provision of infrastructural amenities that will attract would-be investors both local and foreign. The study could provide clues to industrialization process which is pivotal to economic growth and development because industrialization process has the capacity to reduce the rate of unemployment through provision of various job opportunities.
Delimitation of the study
The scope of this study will be narrowed to undergraduates’ perception of unemployment among university graduates in Ekiti State University. It covers the rate of unemployment concepts, types, effects, causes and the magnitude of unemployment problem. In order to have a sizeable and adequate size of sample, our focus shall not be more than five facilities in Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, which preferably will include at least 10 male undergraduates and 10 female undergraduates from faculties like:
- Faculty of Social sciences
- Faculty of Law
- Faculty of Engineering
- Faculty of Agriculture and,
- The prestigious faculty of Education.
Definitions of Terms
Although the research contains many terms, the researcher deemed it fit necessary to give simple definition of the following terms for the sake of clarity.
- Unemployment: – It is a situation where those who are able, willing, qualified, and fall within the working age of a population are unable to secure job.
- Under-employment: This refers to the situation when those who are working cannot work fulltime of the day or their physical, mental strength and experience is not fully optimized.
- GDP GAP: This connotes the difference between a potential outputs of a country at a particular time usually a year and what it actually produced.
- Macro-economics: This is known as the theory of income and employment. It deals with national aggregate such as employment, output, saving, investment, national income, etc.
- University Graduate: A person who holds a degree as a result of successfully completing a course at the university level.
- University Undergraduates: Those who are still pursuing their degree in university.
- University: The highest level of education institution in which students study for degree and academic research is done.
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