Youth unemployment has become a vital aspect of the widespread unemployment syndrome facing Nigeria today. With the current global economy situation, which has led to slow economic growth in most European countries and United States of America, the demand for labor has been declining globally, not excluding Nigeria, resulting to high level of urban youth unemployment due to rapidly increasing rate of rural-urban migration. Since the early 80’s, unemployment has assumed an alarming and disturbing rate in Nigeria, with millions of able-bodied persons willing to accept jobs at the minimum pay rates yet unable to find job placements.
The problem of unemployment is becoming too dangerous in Nigeria, students graduates annually from tertiary institutions in mass with little or no plans of engaging them gainfully. According to Nigerian government statistics, youth unemployment in Nigeria is between the range of 60 to 70 percent, and the labor market can only absorb 10 percent of new job entrants.
The issue of unemployment has been a major problem challenging the lives of the Nigerian youth even before now. This has landed so many Nigerian youths into conditions of frustration, dejection and dependency on immediate and extended family members, friends and mates that also have their own problems to take care of. Every year, about 4.5 million youths enter the labor market without any hope of getting employments for life sustenance. Out of this figure, about 300,000 are graduates of tertiary institutions, who despite their skills and formal education, are left with no option as to how to make ends meet.
Human development experts argue that the high level of unemployment among the Nigerian youths is as a result of inadequate work experience. But the question now is; how does one get job experience when employers will not employ fresh graduates or young people with few years of experience? Leaving the question unanswered, the youths still strive to fulfill their requirements, by subjecting themselves to casual and underpaid jobs, so as to get the so called work experience which has become a major requirement for good rewarding jobs.