Lesson 7.Employment Trend Evolution and Structure Labour Force.

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In this unit, we are going to study the need for Human resource planner, to understand the trend of employment and unemployment in the economy in which they operate. Analysis of employment trend and distribution which are determined by age, urban migration, education factors is necessary for proper human resource forecasting. Other factors that affect the level employment have to do with the trend of economic development in some sectors of the society like the Manufacturing, Agricultural, Distributive Sector, etc. A proper study of the developments in this sectors will enable Human Resource Planner to strategically forecast human resources requirement at a particular period

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At the end of this unit, you will be able to do the following:

Analyse employment trend in different economic sector of the nation. Explain unemployment trend in modern Nigeria. Differentiate the trend of employment in different sector of the economy. Apply the employment and unemployment trends in human resource forecasting

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The total distribution of total gainful employment in industries indicated by Ojo (1998 p 62-65) shows that in Nigeria for the period of 19601994, 1960, about 72 percent of the total force was engage in Agriculture. Since then accordingly the proportion of the work force in gainful occupation in the agricultural sector has decline gradually, reaching about 60 percent in 1996. The relative neglect of the agricultural sector since the oil boom of the 1970s partly explains the drop in the relative contribution of the sector to total gainful employment

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The manufacturing manufacturing and processing sector was regarded as second in employment generation. It was manufacturing sector that gained most in the provision of employment during 1970s and before the introduction of SAP in 1970.

The manufacturing sector between 1970s and early 1980s, the proportion of people engaged in the sector increased gradually. The trend is traceable to the policy of industrialization vigourously pursued in the country and highly enhanced by the oil boom. Ojo however pointed that manufacturing sector employment has suffered a severe decline since the inception of SAP. The distributive sector according to Folayan experienced a considerable fairly growth in its contribution to total gainful employment during the review period, having risen from only 2.9 percent in 1960 to 163 percent in 1996. It was followed in this trend by the service sector. Inspite of the dominant role of the oil sector in the Nigerian economy. According to Ojo it has never accounted for more than 0.5 percent of aggregate gainful employment. This underscores the highly capital intensive nature of activities. The agricultural sector consists of informal sector of rural activities. Agricultural continues to provide employment to over 60% percent of the population. Most of these farmers are generally on small landholdings and subsistence farming. According to Fayana (2006) between 1984 and 1988, an average of about 62:18 percent of the labour force was engaged in agricultural activities. Food and raw materials are provided for industries and the sector makes substantial contribution to foreign exchange earnings as well as the gross domestic product. Secondly, the building and construction industry has experienced severe loss, in relative terms, as regards modern sector employment. This is due primarily to the considerable scaling down of capital projects in both the public and private sectors. Thirdly, the mining and quarrying sector which is virtually dominated by the oil industry. Consisting largely of modern sector activities, had share of modern sector employment reduced considerable between 1985 and 1996 Ojo (1998). He also pointed that many of the multinational companies which dominate the oil industry have slowed down their exploratory operations and have diverted part of their interests due to the national political crisis brought about by annulment of the 1993 Presidential election, he concluded that such companies have consequently downsized their activities and labour force

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Explain the concept of employment trend

Critically evaluate the employment trend in the following sectors Manufacturing sector Agricultural sector


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The Nigerian unemployment problem emerged in the 1960s as it was virtually non existent in the 1950s Folayan Ojo (1998). It was noted that over-employment of 143,000 made up of children below legal working age, was recorded for the 1953/53 census (Diejomah and Orimalade 1971). By 1966/67, urban employment was as high as 8.0 percent against an overall rate of 1.7 percent. Some factors are responsible for the trend.

Accordingly, Ojo (1998) infers the 1976 unemployment rate of 4.3 percent was low, he ascribe this to the oil boom of the decade. Secondly, aggregate as well as urban and rural unemployment rates were relatively high during the second half of the 1980s. He explained it in terms of the worsening economic environment 1981-85 economic recession which followed the oil boom and subsequent introduction of SAP in 1986. Thirdly, employment rate have always been higher in urban area due mainly to rural-urban migration. Lastly, the data would seem to suggest a highly improved labour market situation particularly since 1989, in terms of the unemployment problems. Nigeria unemployment problem is found to be most serious among secondary school leavers for instance, between 1989 and 1995, they accounted for between 52.8 and 68.7 percent of the unemployed at national level between 55.6 and 70 percent in urban areas and between 49.1 and 68 percent in rural areas (FOS, Statistical News). Graduate unemployment which was virtually non-existent until the late 1970s worsened in the 1980s and has now become chronic problem. Combining the unemployment phenomenon among secondary school leavers and graduate of tertiary institutions, the Nigeria unemployment problem is mainly one of educated unemployed. Recent labour studies indicates that secondary school leavers constituted 57.6 percent of unemployment persons while graduates of tertiary institution jointly constituted 30.7 percent. In terms of unemployment rate, which was 16.9 percent overall, secondary school leavers recorded 22.6 percent, university and college of education graduates recorded 17.3 and 14.5 percent respectively. Another major feature of the Nigeria labour market is that of youth unemployment which according to him has become a national socio-economic cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of society. The rate of unemployment has always been highest within the 15-24 age group. Labour force survey 1966/67 indicated the group accounted for as high as 72.6 percent of total unemployment even though it represented only 25% of potential labour force while in 1984 it accounted for almost three quarter of the unemployed. Recent data show the same pattern the group represented 71.2 percent of all unemployed in 1994 FOS, 1996 p. 220. It is also noted that unemployment problem has always be more serious in urban area than in rural areas Folayan Ojo 1998 p. 62-65

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Examine the factors responsible for unemployment in Nigeria from 1960 to date.

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Agricultural sector provided employment for over 60 percent of Nigeria populace. However the proportion of the labour force in Agricultural sector of the economy is declining gradual probably due to neglect in the sector since the inception of oil boom in Nigeria.

Its worth to note that provided second largest employment which can be attributed to the policy of industrialization been pursued vigorously by the Nigeria government. This is followed by distributive sector including the service sector which seems to be dominant in the modern day economy. In this unit, we have learnt Employment Trend as the total distribution of total gainful employment in industries in Nigeria for a period of time. We briefly discuss some sectors of the economy that provide employment from the Agricultural sector which was providing greatest number of employment to manufacturing and distributive and other service sector. Also in unemployment trend we discovered according to Ojo (1998) that in 1976, unemployment rate was low at about 4.3 percent, this he alluded was the consequence of the oil boom of the decade. Secondly, aggregate as well as urban and rural unemployment rates were relatively high during the second half of the 1980s, this was due to worsening economic environment of 1980-85, economic recession which was the after affect of the oil boom and subsequent introduction of SAP. It was found that Nigeria unemployment problem is found to be most serious among secondary school leavers. This is coupled with youth unemployment which has become a national socio-economic concern

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Critically identify and analyse employment trend in the five major sectors in the economy


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Folayan Ojo (1995) Personnel Management Panaf Publisihing Inc. Lagos.

John E. Maher (1965) Labour and the Economy Allyn and Bacon Boston U.S.A. T. M. Yussuf (1984) The Dynamic of Industrial Relations University Press Ltd. Ibadan