1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Unemployment as extracted from labour market trends, a monthly publication from Office of the National Statistics (ONS), covers people who are out of work, want a job, have actively sought work in the previous four weeks and are available to start work within the next fortnight, or out of work and have accepted a job that are waiting to start in the next fortnight. (ILO October, 2012).
Unemployment is a situation whereby able bodied persons of working age remain without job despite their willingness to work at ruling wage level (Emeka, 1998).
Unemployment has been one of the most persistent and unmanageable problems facing all industrial countries of the world. It has been noted as a macroeconomic and social problem. In October 1982, the 13th International Conference of Labour Statisticians adopted a new resolution concerning the statistics of the economically active employment and unemployment, they defined unemployment as persons above a specified age who during the reference period were without work including the unemployed graduates, school leavers, home makers and other persons mainly those engaged in non-economic activities who are at the same time seeking for work and are available for work.
The term unemployment could be used in relation to all the factors of production with reference to labour. Unemployment produces both economic and non-economic costs. This cost differs from individuals and societies. For individuals most economic cost of unemployment is loss of income that the persons would have received if employed. For the societies it is the goods and services that would have been produced by the unemployed. Non-economic cost is found among unemployed persons who experience anxiety, depression and loss of self-esteem. A rise in unemployment rate is associated with high incidence of alcoholism and drug abuse as well as increase in crime and suicide rate, high rate of family divorce and incidence of child abuse. The basic economic cost of unemployment is foregone output when the economy fails to create enough jobs for all who are able and willing to work; potential production of goods and services is greatly lost thus unemployment is a waste of manpower. Economic growth leads to a lower unemployment rate; Okun’s law indicates that every 1% point by which the actual unemployment rate exceed the natural rate a negative GDP gap of about 2% decline in real GDP below its productivity GDP occurs. According to Briggs (1973) unemployment is the difference between the amount of labour employed at current wage rate and working conditions, and the amount of labour hired at these levels.
However, Gbosi (1997) defined unemployment as a situation in which people who are willing to work at the prevailing wage rate are unable to find jobs. Unemployment is as a result of the inability to develop and utilize the nations manpower resources effectively especially in the rural sector (Fadayami, 1992; Osimubi, 2006). In another view of Jimaza (2001) defined it as a situation whereby one has no job and is prepared to take a job at the ongoing wage rate but such job is nowhere to be found. A rise or fall in wage rate depends on the level or variation in the unemployment rate, the amount of unemployment in an economy is measured by unemployment rate which is the percentage of civilian labour force consist of people between 18years of age or older who are unemployed or employed. People not included in the labour force are college students who do not have job and are looking for jobs; it is possible that an increase in current unemployment rate alters the long-run equilibrium of unemployment rate for instance certain unemployed persons may be excluded from the labour market because their productivity is too low to make it profitable to hire them even at a much lower wage rate than the current one.