Youth Unemployment and Attitude Towards Employment

Table of contents


Nigeria’s adolescent & young adult population (aged 15-24) is currently facing a crippling problem that will endanger the future of the nation. The median age data from the website is used to define the term “youth migrant and non-migrant population, or youth population”. The median age of the migrant and non-migrant population throughout the developing world does remain in a late adolescent phase with ages ranging from the 15th birthday until the 24th birthday (, 2013, median age). This study expects to find that youth population attitudes toward unemployment will be similar in the migrant and non-migrant populations. I seek to examine this assertion by carrying out a qualitative investigation on the relatedness of unemployment among the youth and their attitudes based on a population analysis of the youth among the indigenous non-migrant locals and migrant immigrants in Nigeria.

The migrant and non-migrant youth population is primarily located in Latin America and on the African continent to which Nigeria has a median population age of 19.1 (2010 Est.) (, 2013, median age). Global unemployment rates among the youth population are on the rise (indexmundi, 2013, 1). The same case is observable in Nigeria where the number of unemployed youths accounts for more than half of the total number of unemployed people in the country (Youth Speak Community, 2013, 1. It has been suggested that attitudes of the youth may be the main reason behind the high levels of unemployment among the youth.


The global rate of unemployment indicates high levels of unemployment among the youth. The median age data from the website is used to define the term “youth migrant and non-migrant population, or youth population”. The median age of the migrant and non-migrant population throughout the developing world does remain in a late adolescent phase with ages ranging from the 15th birthday until the 24th birthday (, 2013, median age). In fact, the rate of growth of unemployment among the youth population is higher that the case of adults (Alanana, 2003).

The reported incidence of youth unemployment is even higher in developed economies as compared to emerging and developing economies. However, in the recent years the cases have been so sporadic in developing countries especially in Africa (Alanana, 2013). This is because according to Alanana (2013), the numbers of the youth population is increasing at an alarming rate as compared to the rates at which job opportunities are being created. The case of unemployment among the youth in Africa is alarming and is currently a threat to social-economic stability and peace.

Nigeria is also a major immigrant destination in West Africa with over one million immigrant population. The youths accounts for a majority of the immigrant population. This represents about 0.7 percent of the population. The case of unemployment among the youth cuts across both the locals as well as the immigrants (Alanana, 2003). This paper purposes to analyse the case of unemployment among the migrant and non-migrant youth population in the country and how the attitudes affects the rates by analysing unemployment among the local youths and the immigrant youths in Nigeria.

Problem statement

Generally, the rate of migrant and non-migrant youth unemployment in Nigeria is very high. However, the rates of unemployment among the youth are incomparable to the older male working population in the country. Several reasons may be behind the abnormal differences in the unemployment rates between the youth and the adult population. Several studies have associated the differences in the unemployment rates between the migrant and non-migrant youth populations and other adults to the attitudes posed by the youths regarding job specifications. Other studies referenced in Alanana (2013), Youth unemployment in Nigeria: some implications for the third millennium have indicated that the local youth are very selective towards jobs as compared to immigrant youth. This dissertation will examine the extent of truth in this statement by generally observing the link between unemployment among the youths and their attitudes and also examine the attitudes of immigrant and local youths towards employment opportunities in the country.

Research objectives

This research study will be guided by the following objectives:

  1. To analyse the link between unemployment among the youth and their attitudes
  2. To analyse the difference in unemployment rates between local youths and immigrant youths
  3. To examine how attitudes affects the differences in unemployment rates of the local youths and immigrant youths.

Organization of the study

This study will be divided into five chapters. The introduction will provide the background and need to study how attitudes influence unemployment in the country. This will also include a description of the research hypothesis, objectives, questions, limitations, assumptions, significance, and the approach adopted in the investigation. The second chapter will provide a detailed analysis of literature review of previous investigations relevant to the research problem. The third chapter will provide the research methodology that will be used in addressing the hypothesis and the research questions. Chapter four will represent all the data that will be collected and analysed in this planned study. Finally, the fifth chapter will delineate on the conclusions that will be drawn in the study as well as the recommendations.

Literature Review

For the development of an effective gap analysis, this study will analyse several previous imperial investigations and authentic statistics on unemployment among the youth in the world and specifically in Nigeria. The literature review will focus on the unemployment among locals and immigrants on a general perspective globally as well as local perspective in Nigeria.

The literature reviewed in this study will be sourced from credible sources such as national and international newspaper sources that cover Nigeria, government publications and other academic journals to ensure that the process of gap analysis is founded on a comprehensive, valid, sound and reliable set of data. The study will focus on most recent studies and publications dating back to a maximum of 7 years ago to ensure the data used in the study represents the most recent situation as far as unemployment among the youth is concerned.

According to Youth Speak Community (2013), Nigeria, which is Africa’s most populated country, has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. By 2011, the unemployment rate was at about 24 % of which the rate of unemployment among the youths was estimated to be about 50% (Youth Speak Community, 2013). However, the case is similar in many other African countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana, which have unemployment rates of 25%, 40 %, and 11 % respectively (Youth Speak Community, 2013).

The most critical issue affecting Nigeria and Nigerians today is the issue of unemployment and subsequently the problem in the future of unemployment is with current levels of youth unemployment in Nigeria (Bakare, 2013)Bakare states that World Bank statistical data list Nigeria’s youth unemployment rate at 38% (Bakare, 2013) but Bakare believes the real rate of Nigerian youth unemployment is closer to 80% (Bakare, 2013). The rate of youth population education continues to increase with Nigerian universities producing 150,000 graduates per year (Bakare, 2013), however; the rate of job production has not kept to pace with the production of university graduates per year (Bakare, 2013).

The focus of Nigeria’s future as a result of the youth unemployment problem is also part of the research agenda of the Nigerian Universities. The Department of Business Administration and Marketing, at the Delta State University are in the process of determining how the current youth unemployment crisis will impact Nigeria’s economic and social future. According to Salami (2013), The problems Nigeria faces tomorrow will depend on how the youth population of Nigeria matures as adolescents into adulthood. “Records from the National Population Commission (2001) indicate that youths under the age of 30 constitute over half of the approximately 150 million Nigerians. According to Doreo Partners (2013) unemployment rate in Nigeria is growing at the rate of 16% per year with the youth impacted the most and accounting for three times the general unemployment.” (Salami, 2013) Damilola (2013) describes the rise in unemployment in Nigeria as “one of the major social problems affecting the growth and development of this country.” (Damilola, 2013) The situation is described as so dire the population of Nigerians cannot meet basic needs due to the lack of jobs. Damilola also describes a problem of cronyism in Nigeria that awards jobs to college graduates with political connections rather than based on individual merit. The suggestion by Damilola is for the youth to be “creative and learn different vocational skills.” (Damilola, 2013)

A startling report by the Department of Sociology at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria has indicated that youth unemployment has led to a rise in violent crimes (Ajaegbu, 2012) The overall level of despair of the youth population is blamed for the level of youth unemployment. “By using the deprivation theory proposed by Ted Gurr, this study has explored the proximate and ultimate causes involving the youths in violent crimes. If factors that create the feeling of deprivation and frustration created by unemployment are addressed, Nigeria’s youths will not engage in violent crimes.” (Ajaegbu, 2012)

According to the Christian Science monitor, the youth unemployment problem leaves the Nigerian youth population so despondent that militant groups are better able to prey on these populations and recruit them into criminal organizations. “The vulnerability of unemployed youth in Nigeria’s northeast leaves them open to Boko Harem’s narratives, which have only been augmented by weak governance and the poor delivery of basic services. Boko Haram members, who live in the city’s poor communities, command the loyalty of those who have languished into poverty.” (Parker, 2013) This issue of militant groups in Nigeria leaves the migrant and non-migrant youth population prone to exposure of issues relating to criminality and recruitment into militant groups.


The survey response questionnaire will be of a qualitative research design to measure the subjective response from the migrant and non-migrant youth population in Nigeria. The focus of the survey questionnaire will be to assess the sentiment, or feelings, of the youth population with regard to their current and future employment prospect. Qualitative research involves the use of a subjective inquiry into the survey questionnaire, which is necessary to establish a base for analysis to include meaningful words, observations, stories, individualities, and chromatic renders with minimal consideration of the number of participants (Higgs & Cherry, 2009). This approach will enable the investigation and examination of the youth unemployment issue with a small sample population, and hence allowing the investigation to proceed with a limited budget. Furthermore, since the investigation requires a deeper analysis and explanation on the links between attitudes and unemployment among the youths, the use of qualitative methodology will allow the study to analyse the objectives effectively.

The data will be collected from each participant of the sample population using interview questions derived based on the objectives identified in the introduction. The data will be coded by linking a number (1, 2, etc.) to each survey response question. The investigation will collect data via semi-structured interviews. After data collection is the analysis process. The analysis will be based on the observer’s impression as the main analysis technique. The use of observer’s impression has been proven to be simple and effective in producing in-depth analysis (Higgs & Cherry, 2009).

Ethical statement

Generally, this study will observe all the ethical requirements in all the processes of data collection and analysis as is expected under an Internal Review Board (IRB). Some of the factors that will be considered include protection of participants’ privacy and confidentiality.


From the above introduction, it is evident that unemployment among the youth in Nigeria is a major social and economic issue in the country. Developing a deeper understanding on the reasons behind the high levels of migrant & non-migrant youth unemployment is necessary to ensure effective steps are taken to deal with the issue. This study will provide an examination and render a conclusion to the notion of the assertion that attitudes of the youth contribute to the high levels of unemployment. This will expand the current knowledge on the issue of youth unemployment and hence allow policy makers to have a better understanding of the issue for effective policy development


  1. Alanana, O. O., Youth unemployment in Nigeria: some implications for the third Millennium, Global Journal of Social Sciences, 2 (1), 21-26. 2013
  2. Bakare, Bilikis. “Addressing youth unemployment in Nigeria.” BusinessDay |. 2013 (accessed November 21, 2013).
  3. Higgs, J. & Cherry, N., Doing qualitative research on practice’, in Higgs, J., Horsfall, D. & Grace, S. 2009 (eds.), writing Qualitative Research on Practice, Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers
  4. F., J. “Why is youth unemployment so high?.” The Economist. 2013. (accessed November 21, 2013).
  5. Salami, Youth unemployment in Nigeria: A time for creative intervention. International Journal of Business and Marketing Management, Vol. 1(2); pp. 18-26, July 2013. Retrieved from:
  6. Damilola, Saanu. “Nigerian Tribune.” How to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria. 2013 (accessed November 21, 2013).
  7. Parker, Gillian. “In Boko Haram country, Nigeria’s new crackdown brings mixed feelings.” 2013. The Christian Science Monitor. (accessed November 21, 2013).
  8. Youth Speak Community, Youth Unemployment In Nigeria: Shocking Statistics, Facts And Why The Future May Not Be So Bright Afterall. 2013 Retrieved from
  9. “Median Age – world statistics and charts as map, diagram and table.” Median Age of the World. 2013 (accessed November 21, 2013).

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