The unemployment rate in Nigeria is a problem that does not seem to have a solution. According to STATISTA, In the fourth of 2020, the unemployment rate in Nigeria reached 33.28 percent. Between 2015 and 2020, the unemployment rate grew. In particular, in 2017 the unemployment rate registered the fastest growth, increasing by about six percentage points during the year. However, this data was calculated according to the Nigerian methodology. Based on the most common international methodology, the unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 17.5 percent.
The New Nigeria methodology defines unemployed as the labor force who did not work at all or worked for less than 20 hours a week. The international definition, instead, includes people aged 15 years to 64 years old who were available for work, actively seeking work, but were unable to find work. According to Investopedia, unemployment is a situation when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Unemployment is considered to be a key measure of the health of the economy. The most frequent measure of unemployment is the unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployed people divided by the number of people in the labor force. Many governments offer unemployment insurance to certain unemployed individuals who meet eligibility requirements, but not in Nigeria. Unemployment is a key economic indicator because it signals the ability (or inability) of workers to readily obtain gainful work to contribute to the productive output of the economy. This doesn’t include people who leave the workforce for other reasons, such as retirement, higher education, and disability. More unemployed workers mean less total economic production will take place than might have otherwise.
The incidence of unemployment in Nigeria in this 21st century is alarming. The rates keep on rising without any appreciable effort to cushion the effects. Hence, this article takes a look at the factors responsible for the high level of unemployment in Nigeria and its social, economic, and political implications. Corruption in both public and private and at the individual levels, industrial decay, and neglect of the agricultural sector are among many others factors responsible for the rise. High levels of poverty, youth restlessness, high rate of social vices, and criminal activities are common because of joblessness and an “Idle mind is the devil’s workshop” they say. If not controlled, apathy, cynicism, and revolution might become the consequent. Recommendations by some studies are urgent intervention in the sensitive sectors of the economy such as power, industry, and agricultural sectors to create employment opportunities. Also, the fight against corruption should be intensified.
According to the FDC, the Nigerian government has made attempts to curb unemployment. They used various policies and schemes such as the National Directorate of Unemployment (NDE) established in 1986. The NDE has a mandate to design and implement programs that reduce poverty, enhance wealth generation and promote attitudinal change. As part of this mandate, it provided vocational training to youths. However, it did not have a job placement component nor did it provide access to start-up capital to encourage entrepreneurship.
Also, the National Accelerated Poverty Reduction program (NAPEP) was another attempt at addressing unemployment. Established in 2001, it focused on training youths for employment in the automobile industry. However, it ultimately achieved little as the majority of the funds went to administrative costs in offices spread over the country. The most recent initiative is N -Power. Introduced in 2017, its goal is to achieve inclusion and productivity in the country. It provides a skills development platform for Nigerians between the ages of 18 and 35 that has benefited about 200,000 people since its inception.
With all these efforts, the unemployment rate still hasn’t improved. So what might be the problem here? Apart from the fact that we need our government to provide well-paying jobs, there is a problem with Nigerian youths being unemployable. What does this mean? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, unemployable simply means “not acceptable for employment”, according to the Oxford language dictionary, “a person not able or likely to get paid employment because of a lack of skills or qualifications”. Most Nigerians don’t realize that this is an issue employers have to contend with when faced with a potential employee. There are some things one should take note of before embarking on an interview.
Why is it so hard to find a job?
It can be frustrating to look at job boards and see all those open positions, especially when your cover letter and resume are being ignored. And it’s hard to ignore all those ‘Help Wanted’ signs you see whenever you’re driving through any town’s business district. After all, if there are that many companies in need of employees, why can’t you land those interviews you need? How is it that your resume is being passed over time after time? Why is it so hard to find a job? First, recognize one thing: many companies and hiring managers have no intention of filling all those job positions. Many promote from within. Others simply solicit resumes regularly to build up a reservoir of potential candidates they can turn to when positions do come open. As a result, the job market may not be as wide-open as it appears at first glance. In short, don’t assume that your job search is any more difficult than any other job seeker. The fact is that you’re all competing for a finite pool of available jobs.
Some of the problems Job seekers face are these:
1. Companies are overly selective: Companies are looking for a mythical “perfect candidate.” A quick review of many job descriptions will paint a picture of an experienced, highly educated expert with a wide variety of skills and experience in a broad range of categories. If these candidates exist, there aren’t enough to fill all these positions. Instead, employers need to find candidates who check the most boxes on the perfect list of qualifications. That has led them to become ever more selective about who they hire. They need to know that you can provide immediate value to the firm.
2. A reliance on outdated resumes: For many struggling job seekers, the problem is as simple as their resumes. Employers are looking for resumes that stand out from the crowd, so those old, outdated resumes are not the best option these days. Unfortunately, many of today’s job seekers have no idea how to craft that type of resume, This is a problem, as your resume gives youth potential employers a quick view of you, if it is not well done, this might limit your chance of securing such job. When it comes to finding a job, successful candidates will have resumes that effectively showcase their value as employees.
Finding a job doesn’t have to be an excruciating experience seriously.
While the job search experience is seldom easy, finding a job doesn’t need to be a painful ordeal. The key is to recognize the challenges that you face and take proactive steps to counter those obstacles.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ODDS OF FINDING A JOB
1. Tailor your resume: First things first, make sure that each resume you send out is tailored for the specific job you’re applying for. That means reading the job description carefully. If you’re sending the same generic resume out for each job, then hiring managers are going to recognize that quickly and discard you from the applicant pool.
2. Write a cover letter: Some job postings may indicate that sending a cover letter is optional. Send a cover letter every time you’re applying for a job you seriously want. Each cover letter should be customized for the specific job you’re applying for and refer to the same keywords used in the job description.
3. Apply sparingly: When hiring managers and recruiters are troubled with countless stacks of applications that don’t fit the job’s requirements, they don’t have as much time to screen and consider serious applicants. Be a part of the solution and make the employer’s job search easier by only applying to jobs that you’re interested in and are qualified for. Plus, you’ll have a whole lot less rejection and negativity around the job-search process. Inability to land three jobs sounds a whole lot better than failing to land 100.
4. Expand your network: Online applications aren’t everything. Make it a point to try other avenues for finding and landing jobs. Connect with professionals who work on projects that excite you, and even just ask your friends and family. Your network may not always have a job opportunity ready for you, but they can at least point you in the right direction a lot of the time.
5. Follow-up: At all stages of the application process, you need to be proactive about following up. After you apply, write a follow-up email the following week to touch base and check-in. This gives you a chance to put some personality into those otherwise dry application documents. For example, if they said you should hear back in 5 business days, send a follow-up check-in email after 6 or 7 business days to see what’s going on. Don’t be annoying, but keep yourself near the top of employers’ minds.
There’s no denying that it’s hard to find a job in a country like Nigeria because there’s a lot you’re up against. However, it doesn’t have to be a painful experience. Armed with the right knowledge and tools, you can land your dream job faster and with less frustration. And to further improve your chances, you can always work with a professional resume writer who is trained to help you show a hiring manager why you’re the one for the job.
We wish you the best of luck, and remember, we’re here to help.
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