CONCEPT OF UNEMPLOYMENT, Definition of unemployment. Unemployment is defined as a situation in which persons of working age, and willing to work are unable to find employment.
Unemployment is a persistent issue that has plagued societies throughout history. It is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals who are willing and able to work are unable to find employment opportunities. Unemployment can be caused by several factors, including economic downturns, technological advancements, demographic shifts, and governmental policies. In this blog post, we will discuss the various causes of unemployment and the remedies that can be employed to alleviate it.
Causes of Unemployment
Economic Downturns: Economic downturns, also known as recessions, are periods of economic contraction characterized by a decline in economic activity, a decrease in consumer spending, and a rise in unemployment. During these periods, businesses may cut costs by laying off workers or reducing work hours, resulting in increased unemployment.
Technological Advancements: Technological advancements have revolutionized the way businesses operate. Automation and artificial intelligence have replaced human labour in various industries, resulting in decreased demand for certain types of jobs. Workers who lack the necessary skills to operate and maintain the technology used in their industries may find themselves unemployed.
Demographic Shifts: Demographic shifts, such as ageing populations, can also contribute to unemployment. As populations age, the demand for certain goods and services may decrease, resulting in decreased demand for workers in those industries. Additionally, older workers may choose to retire, further reducing the available workforce.
Governmental Policies: Governmental policies can also contribute to unemployment. Minimum wage laws, for example, may increase the cost of labour, making it less attractive for employers to hire workers. Similarly, regulations that restrict businesses\’ ability to operate may reduce the number of available jobs.
Remedies to Unemployment
Education and Training: One way to alleviate unemployment is to provide education and training programs that equip workers with the skills necessary to operate and maintain the technology used in their industries. These programs can also provide workers with new skills that are in high demand, making them more attractive to potential employers.
Infrastructure Spending: Infrastructure spending can also help alleviate unemployment. Investments in transportation, telecommunications, and other public works projects can create jobs and stimulate economic growth. These investments can also improve the country\’s overall infrastructure, making it more attractive to businesses and investors.
Labour Market Policies: Labor market policies, such as unemployment insurance and job training programs, can also help alleviate unemployment. Unemployment insurance provides a safety net for workers who lose their jobs and can help them bridge the gap until they find new employment. Job training programs can equip workers with the skills necessary to find new jobs in high-demand industries.
Tax Incentives: Tax incentives can also be used to encourage businesses to invest in new facilities and hire more workers. Tax breaks for businesses that create new jobs or invest in new technologies can stimulate economic growth and reduce unemployment.
Unemployment is a complex issue with several causes and potential remedies. Economic downturns, technological advancements, demographic shifts, and governmental policies can all contribute to unemployment. Education and training programs, infrastructure spending, labour market policies, and tax incentives are just a few of the remedies that can be employed to alleviate unemployment. Addressing this issue requires a coordinated effort from governments, businesses, and workers to ensure that everyone has access to the resources necessary to find and maintain employment.
In other words, unemployment refers to a situation in which people who are
capable of working and who are qualified I age to work cannot find employment.
The unemployment rate is denoted by the symbol ‘U’ and is represented by the form below:
U = Number of unemployed persons x 100
Working population or labour force
Example of unemployment
A country has a working population or lab force of4.8 million of which 3.6 million
are employed. Calculate the unemployment rate of the country
Labour force = 4.8 million
No. of employed = 3.6 million
No. of unemployed = 4.8m – 3.6m = 1.2m
U = Number of unemployed persons x 100
Working population or labour force 1
= 1.2m x 100
Types of unemployment
- Structural unemployment: This type of unemployment is the result of changes in the pattern of demand of certain commodities.
If the demand is low, it could lead to industries reducing their workforce and this eventually results in structural unemployment.
- Seasonal unemployment:
This type of unemployment takes place in industries whose production is subject to seasonal variations and demands
- In other words, there are certain seasons for production. When such industries are off-season, i.e. not in production, very few workers are required, leading to unemployment. I have seen this type of unemployment take place in PZ Cussons, Ikorodu Lagos. In fact, in the year 2009, I was affected and laid off
- Mass unemployment: Mass unemployment is the type of unemployment which affects many occupations and industries at the same time. It is caused as a result of a decrease or fall in the quantity of goods demanded.
The industries so affected will embark on retrenchment of workers leading to unemployment. Mass unemployment is also known as cyclical or deficient unemployment.
- Under-employment: This is the type of unemployment which occurs when an individual works at less than his full capacity so that his productivity is below the maximum. Under-employment occurs when a worker is not working at his full capacity.
- Frictional unemployment: This is the type of unemployment which occurs as a result of changes in the techniques of production.
Due to advancements in technology, machines are introduced in production, which tends to replace labour and this can lead to retrenchment of workers. Frictional unemployment is also called technological unemployment.
- Voluntary unemployment: Voluntary unemployment occurs when a worker deliberately refuses to take up paid employment even though employment opportunities are available. They may be receiving unemployment benefits from the government; the available jobs may not be attractive, etc.
- Residual unemployment: This is the type of unemployment that arises as a result of physical or mental disabilities. Those who are disabled, and are not capable of working, fall into this group.
- Casual unemployment: This is the type of unemployment which involves jobs that are not permanent. This is common with the unskilled type of labour, e.g. part-time jobs.
Causes of Unemployment
- Inadequate educational system: The educational systems practiced by most developing countries are inadequate as special attention is paid to paper qualification to the detriment of job creation.
- Lack of industrial growth: Most developing countries do not have industries that are capable of employing enough workers. This leads to unemployment.
- Over-population: When a country’s population is too high, it tends to produce many workers and such workers may not have jobs to do, thereby leading to unemployment.
- Lack of social amenities: Labour tends to be unavailable when there are no social amenities in the area.
- Geographical mobility of labour: Due to certain circumstances, labour finds it difficult to move from one geographical area to another and this results in unemployment.
- High cost of education: As a result of the high cost of acquiring education, many find it difficult to go to school and so end up with low paper qualifications, which may not permit them to get good employment.
- Use of automated machines: The use of automated machines in factories reduces the need for many workers and this leads to unemployment.
- Deficiency in demand: An overall fall in demand for goods can lead companies to
- Poor development plans: The government does not normally put in place development
plans that can create employment opportunities or take care of the unemployed.
Consequence of Unemployment
(1) Increase in crime rate: When there are a large number of unemployed persons, it
Usually leads to an increase in crime rate such as armed robbery, car snatching, hired assassination, etc, in a bid to survive.
- Threat to peace and stability: With an ever-increasing number of unemployed persons, the peace and stability of the state will be threatened.
- Reduction in investment: The zeal to invest is always very low when there is a high level of unemployment.
- Migration: When there is unemployment, it usually results in able youths and adults alike moving out of the country to look for jobs in other places.
- Waste of human resources: The time, money and energy spent in acquiring degrees and certificates will be wasted and labour is made idle.
- High rate of dependency: The level of dependency will increase as a result of unemployment.
Solutions to Problems of Unemployment
- Industrialization: Government establish many industries that can employ
- Population control: Population should be controlled to obtain optimum level, so as to match the human population\’s available natural resources.
- Encouraging geographical mobility labour: The enabling environment should be created so that labour should move from one geographically to another.
- Re-designing the educational system: The education system should be re-designed to graduate people that are able to create employment.
- Proper development plans: development plans should be put in place to cater for people who are unemployed.
- Provision of social amenities: availability of social amenities encourages workers and this tends to reduce unemployment.
- Quality of labour: The quality of labour in terms of skills or training determines the level of wages or salary attracted. Highly educated and professional workers attract higher levels of wages than unskilled workers.
- Condition of the economy: When the economy is buoyant, workers enjoy high levels of wages, but when the economy is in recession, wages and salary levels fall.
why people lack jobs
People may lack jobs for various reasons, including:
- Lack of Available Jobs: One of the most common reasons why people lack jobs is the lack of available employment opportunities. In some cases, there may be a limited number of jobs available in a particular industry or geographic region, making it difficult for job seekers to find work.
- Skills Mismatch: Another reason why people may lack jobs is due to a mismatch between the skills they possess and the skills required for available jobs. For example, if a person has experience in a declining industry, such as manufacturing, but lacks the skills required for jobs in growing industries, such as technology or healthcare, they may struggle to find employment.
- Discrimination: Discrimination can also be a factor in why people lack jobs. Discrimination based on age, race, gender, or other factors can prevent qualified individuals from being hired or promoted, despite their qualifications.
- Economic Downturns: Economic downturns, such as recessions, can also result in a lack of available jobs. During these periods, businesses may reduce their workforce or freeze hiring, making it difficult for job seekers to find employment.
- Governmental Policies: Governmental policies can also contribute to a lack of available jobs. Minimum wage laws, for example, can increase the cost of labour, making it less attractive for businesses to hire workers. Similarly, regulations that restrict businesses\’ ability to operate may reduce the number of available jobs.
In conclusion, there are several reasons why people may lack jobs, including a lack of available employment opportunities, skills mismatch, discrimination, economic downturns, and governmental policies. Addressing these issues requires a coordinated effort from governments, businesses, and workers to ensure that everyone has access to the resources necessary to find and maintain employment.
There are several reasons why people may lack jobs, including:
- Economic downturns: During a recession or economic downturn, companies may have to lay off workers or reduce their workforce, resulting in a shortage of job opportunities.
- Lack of education and skills: In some cases, individuals may lack the necessary education or skills to be hired for available jobs. This can be due to inadequate education or training opportunities, or a mismatch between the skills that individuals possess and the skills that are in demand in the job market.
- Technological advancements: Technological advancements have significantly changed the job market and have replaced many jobs with machines and automation. As a result, many individuals may find themselves without job opportunities in industries that have become increasingly automated.
- Globalization: Globalization has led to increased competition in the job market as companies seek to outsource jobs to other countries where labour is cheaper. This can result in a shortage of job opportunities in certain industries.
- Discrimination: Discrimination based on race, gender, age, or other factors can also contribute to a lack of job opportunities for certain individuals.
- Lack of job creation: In some cases, there may simply be a lack of job creation in a particular region or industry due to factors such as low economic growth or lack of investment.
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