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       Sunday, February 25, 2018       
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN NIGERIA: An Econometric Investigation

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN NIGERIA: An Econometric Investigation

 

Abstract: The scourge of soaring youth unemployment is global, afflicting not only the developing countries of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) but also the
advanced countries of Europe and North America. Africa’s population explosion has inevitably resulted in a labour force explosion. It is
estimated that 10 million youth are pushed into the labour market each year but only a small percentage of them can obtain meaningful employment. Consequently, in spite of some progress in reducing poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, 71 percent of the youth in SSA live on less than $2 per day. Some African countries, such as Nigeria, report high real GDP growth but low job creation partly due to highly capital- intensive production techniques. Unemployment has remained one of the most stubborn problems facing macroeconomic policy makers in Nigeria since
independence. Today the problem of youth unemployment has become acute, jumping to 37.7 percent in 2011. This paper addresses the
question of why unemployment has been rising, refusing to respond to the ministrations of policy makers and the massive injection of public
investment funds. In particular, econometric techniques are brought to bear on the issue of the impact of public investment spending on
employment and on poverty reduction in Nigeria. The latter is done by estimating the impact of aggregate investment and public sector investment on per capita income growth and hence on poverty reduction. The paper ends with recommendations including one that future public investment projects and programmes should be designed so that they effectively generate employment and reduce poverty.

JEL classification: J64, I32, C01

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