Social Studies

Meaning of employment

Meaning of employment

This means being occupied in a job in order to earn a living.

Meaning of unemployment

Unemployment can be defined as the situation where those who are willing and able to work could not get a befitting work to do. It is the situation where person of a working age, able bodied and willing to work is unable to find paid employment.

Unemployment occurs when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. Unemployment is often used as a measure of the health of the economy.

Unemployment rate: This is the number of unemployed persons divided by the number of people in the labor force. Unemployment rate is the percentages of total workforce who is unemployed and are looking for a paid job.

Types of unemployment

  1. Mass unemployment: Mass unemployment is the type of unemployment which affects many occupation and industries at the same time. Mass unemployment is also known as cyclical or deficient unemployment. It occurs as a result of general fall in the quantity of goods demanded.
  2. Structural Unemployment: is a form of unemployment where, at a given wage, the quantity of labor supplied exceeds the quantity of labor demanded, because there is a fundamental mismatch between the number of people who want to work and the number of jobs that are available. The unemployed workers may lack the skills needed for the jobs, or they may not live in the part of the country or world where the jobs are available. Structural unemployment is one of the five major categories of unemployment distinguished by economists. Structural unemployment is generally considered to be one of the “permanent” types of unemployment, where improvement if possible, will only occur in the long run
  3. Voluntary Unemployment: This is a situation where Unemployed people decided not take a job probably because the pay is not attractive or because they are getting benefit from the government or any other legal source.
  4. Residual unemployment: It is the kind of unemployment that arises as a result of physical and mental disabilities of the person that is to be employed.
  5. Casual unemployment: This kind of unemployment is common with the unskilled kind of labors; it is the kind unemployment which involves job that is not permanent.
  6. Frictional unemployment: this type of unemployment can also be called technological unemployment, it occurs as a result of advancement in technology, where machines are replaced with workers in the process of production.
  7. Seasonal Unemployment: This occurs in industries whose production is subject to seasonal variations i.e. the season or event at a time determine their level of production so when it is not time for production they become unemployed.

Causes of unemployment

The following points below are the causes of unemployment

  1. Poor development plans: Government refuses to create development plans that can help to create employment for the unemployed.
  2. They quit their position and are looking for a new one; due to little salary that could not make them provide for their basic necessities people quit their job and become unemployed.
  3. They were laid off due to lack of work and haven’t yet been rehired.
  4. Their company reduced the work force, and they are seeking a new position. This can be due to a local condition, when the company closes a plant or division, or a national condition, when the economy slows and many companies reduce their work force. .
  5. High cost of education: some could not afford to go to school because of the cost involved so they end up with low or no paper qualification which makes it possible for them to get a job.
  6. Overpopulation: When a country is over populated i.e. when the people in a country are more than the available resources, there will be many workers without available job to do.
  7. The need for their skill set has gone down, and there are limited positions available, which may lead to unemployment until they train for a new position.
  8. Technology has reduced the need for their type of position.
  9. Deficiency in demand: a continuous fall in the demand of goods and services can cause many companies to retrench their staffs and render them unemployed.
  • Lack of industrial growth: Most industries in developing countries like Nigeria do not have the capacity to employ a lot of workers which can make so many people to be unemployed.

Consequences of unemployment are:

  1. There will be threat to peace and stability
  2. Wastage f human resources
  3. There will be high rate of dependency
  4. Unemployment will lead to migration
  5. Reduction in investment
  6. There will be increase in crime rate

Solutions to the problems of unemployment

The following points below can help to provide solution to the problems of unemployment

  1. Population control: When the population of a country is reduced, it will help to reduce the number of those who are looking for job. The population should be able to match up with the available resources.
  2. Industrialization: When there is enough industry in a country, there will be need for people to be employed; therefore there should be creation of industries to reduce unemployment.
  3. Incentive to potential investors: investors should be motivated to create jobs for the unemployed people in the society, incentives like tax holidays, provision of social amenities etc should be made available to investors.
  4. Proper development of plans: The government should make proper development of plan for those who are unemployed in a country.
  5. Redesigning of educational system: The educational system should introduce curriculum that can help graduate to create employment.


  1. What is Unemployment?
  2. What are the causes of Unemployment?
  3. List 5 solutions of unemployment.
  4. What are the different types of unemployment?
  5. Mention 5 consequences of Unemployment.

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