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 Causes Of Unemployment In  Nigeria – 10 Root Causes

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 Causes Of Unemployment In  Nigeria – 10 Root Causes

Causes of unemployment in Nigeria: The root cause of unemployment in Nigeria can be traced to some factors; Unemployment is one of the foremost challenges in Nigeria, but it is necessary to begin by giving a brief explanation of the word unemployment.

A person is considered unemployed if he is illegible and willing to work but does not have a job and is actively seeking one. Unemployment can be viewed as someone actively seeking a job opportunity but could not secure any. In this case, such a person is not categorized in the labor force.

People who do part-time work, or temporary work and full-time work are also classified as being employed.

Then alarming increase in unemployment demands government attention by offering employment opportunities and also providing more government jobs, fully or partially government-funding jobs, or government-mandated jobs to all Nigerians.

The government must uphold the responsibility of protecting a positive generation by ensuring the provision of education, social infrastructure, health, and medical provision, and also a provision of education to groom the talent and profession of Nigerians for gainful employment.

Unemployment Can Be Basically Categorized Into The Following:

  1. Seasonal Unemployment:

This occurs in certain kind of jobs that are seasonal in nature, this occurs in some company hiring extra people during an exceptional period or a peak period of their business, to carry out certain responsibility that is beyond the number of the company permanent staff.

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2.Frictional Unemployment:

This occurs when people move from one job to the other or working in between jobs. This situation could be considered to be voluntary.

Governments can work out measures to reduce frictional unemployment by making the process between quitting and getting hired quicker and more efficient.

  1. Cyclical Unemployment

It could also take the form of a company laying off staff due to economic downtown or bankruptcy, as a result, the company decide to lay off some staff, these employees that are let go fall under frictional unemployment.

During a recession, employment will be drastically reduced, and conversely during a boom period employment will be high.

4.Structural Unemployment:

This is the type of employment that occurs because of the change or advancement in technology, for instance, the innovation in the banking industry resulted in the laying off of some employees.

Technological advancements and innovations like email, people send fewer letters every year, so the post office has to fire more people.


Be Self Employed

  Causes of Unemployment in Nigeria


Nigeria as a country is endowed with resources which do not warrant its citizen to suffer unemployment, but it is unfortunate that the leaders in the country are corrupt and are after their selfish interest. Embezzling public funds meant for economic development and to create wealth and employment opportunities in the country.

To my own understanding, it is all about religious and tribal sentiments. The northerner will not want to develop the south which he sees as a threat to the growth of the north, so also the southerner. The religious leaders see things differently in their religious perspective which often causes crises and are not united to fight a common cause.

 Lack of industry:

The unavailability of industries in Nigeria is one of the major reasons for the high rate of unemployment in the region. The neglect by the government and other wealthy business personalities initiated the unavailability of jobs in Nigeria.

Nigerian entrepreneurs prefer to establish their business in another country than in their own country. also, the insecurity in the country has restrained most foreign investors from investing in  Nigeria.

 Fewer Workers Doing More Work:

One of the reasons for unemployment in Nigeria is that the few people employed in the various place of occupations do more than is required.

An employee does the work of more than a person, workers or employees are also exploited to work longer hours than is required. This very reason has militated in the increase in unemployment in Nigeria.

 Increased Rate Of Poverty:

Poverty and lack pave way for unemployment, the inability of most parents to fund the education of their children resulted in many of the youth not being educated or well-schooled to be gainfully employed.

This creates an avenue for an oversupply of uneducated people with nothing much to do but sell themselves by the hours, competing against each other to see who can accept the worst condition.

Increase in The Retirement Age:

More people wanting or needing to work long into their old age even at the ’70s, the resultant effect is unemployment, as the young and working-age group in Nigeria wanting to work are not given the opportunity to work. This has also resulted in an increase in unemployment.

 Unemployable Attributes:

The unemployable attitude exhibited by the young graduate in Nigeria also counts for increased unemployment in the area. The proud attitude exhibited by most job seekers would not permit most employees to employed most job seekers and some are not willing to learn and been paid for the job they have applied for.

This has resulted in the sack of many employees during probation before they could be absorbed in the job.


Some unemployed youth are been marginalized for their own reasons besides having no job, they are deprived of securing a job because of abuse, poverty, poor health, illiteracy, allergies and phobia of height, disabilities, etc.

Some are denied the privilege of the job, by the employer not considering if they are matched for the job but they are being relegated on justly unemployed.

Dependent on Government:

Nigerian depend so much on the government to provide for a job opportunity, this influences them not to be proactive and are creative to carry out certain responsibilities, and be self-employed, which has elevated unemployment.

The rural environment encourages farming which is a source of employment and means of sustenance but this has been neglected for the government job opportunity.

Job Experience;

Some employee prefers offering a job to people who already have jobs or offer the job to people who have the experience, most employers operate in this form to save the cost of training staff and also secured job performance of the experienced staff. This has generated an increase the unemployment in Nigeria.


The progressive increase account of birth rate in Nigeria is alarming as Nigeria is considered as the most populated country in Africa,  the resultant effect is that the jobs available cannot meet up with the growing population.

An increase in population demands a correspondent increase in infrastructure, industries, and job opportunities.

The increase in population results in a corresponding increase in competition for a job, this accounts for the increase in unemployment in Nigeria.

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Conclusion And Recommendation

To counter the unemployment problems in the country the government has to take some serious steps that can increase productivities that will trigger employment.

The government can achieve this by increasing expenditure on social amenities to increase investment and generate employment. Improve the security and a conducive environment in the country to encourage foreign investors to invest in the country.

Also, provide loans to the business owner and small scale entrepreneur to expand their business and provide employment opportunity.



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